August 16, 2006

the get it
Ready to chuck that old tube TV? Here’s your chance. Olevia has been producing low priced, entry level LCD TVs for a long time now. Despite being considered entry level, they consistently receive great reviews from their buyers. This 37" LCD HDTV has a fully integrated ATSC digital tuner input which is "plug and play" with any digital high definition set top box or can simply receive local High Definition broadcasts over the air for free. Other highlights include exceptional 1600:1 dynamic contrast ratio, high resolution of 1366 x 768 and 8ms response times. newegg is offering this great TV for a low $999.99 with $51.27 Three Day Shipping.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=24-022-014&CMP=AFC-TechBargains
the gizmo
This is just the kind of product that gives the gizmo a good name. Simply designed, feature rich, moderately priced and practical. The SuperTooth II from Blue Ant has it all. This car speakerphone connects via bluetooth and requires no installation effort or costs. It simply mounts to your car’s sun visor using a magnetic clip, right were it should be, right near your mouth. The SuperTooth II also has exceptional sound quality with the addition of full duplex capability, which allows you to talk and hear someone at the same time. Other highlights include a lithium-ion battery that will give you 20 hours of talk time, 800 hours of standby, noise cancelling pivoting microphone arm and a Digital Sound Processor (DSP). All of this in a nicely designed package for just $86!
http://www.myblueant.com/supertooth2.htm
the gorgeous

Teak hardwood, Italian limestone, aluminum… stop, you had me at teak! Calling this sculpture a shower is an understatement. The Aquagate, designed by architect and designer Matteo Thun and produced by Villeroy & Boch, this shower will surely contribute to water waste and raisin-skin. You won’t want to get out! Besides being a standard shower, it has a built-in steam shower, a touch screen radio/mp3 player, aroma and light therapy programs and a Dry Rain mode that drizzles you with body temperature water, replicating a summer sun shower. The Aquagate comes in two spacious sizes and can be placed free-standing or traditionally installed against a wall or in a corner.

http://www.villeroy-boch.com/Aquagate.2122.0.html?&C=DE&L=en
the green

First off, I love the title, Is Brown the New Green? UPS has gotten together with the Environmental Protection Agency and the leading automotive engineering firm, FEV Engine Technology, to begin equipping those ubiquitous UPS vans with an EPA-patented hydraulic hybrid propulsion system. Ahhh, the old hydraulic hybrid propulsion system. Sounds like something that Scotty from Star Trek should be running. The system is slightly different than the technology that currently exists in today’s hybrids which capture the energy during braking and store it in batteries for later use by electric motors. This system also captures the energy during braking, but stores it in hydraulic storage tanks which are integrated into the drive train. Very complicated stuff. What is important is that this method promises to be more efficient than today’s hybrids with an increase in fuel efficiency at a whopping 60-70% and a reduction in greenhouse emissions by 40%! What can Brown do for you indeed!

http://www.autoserviceworld.com/issues/ISArticle.asp?id=58905&issue=08082006
the gossip
Some time ago I talked about the impending rollout of the new Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) passports and the concern over identity theft. Despite these concerns the State Department plans to begin issuing them on Monday. Apparently some of these concerns have been overblown. According to the State Department, your passport won’t just be scanned like a can of beans at the supermarket; it will also be visually double checked by the attendant. Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance, a New Jersey-based not-for-profit made up of government agencies and industry players, states that "It’s no different than someone stealing your passport and trying to use it" and that "No one else can use it because your photo is on the chip and they’re not you". Well, that certainly eases my mind… Anyway, if you are still feeling a bit queasy, there are some great new RFID blocking wallets and cases out there. Just for some contrast, here are a few from Hello Kitty and a simple leather one here.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060811/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/electronic_passports