September 6, 2006

the get it
Ok, ok, so it can’t be sexy all of the time. Sometimes simple is good. Here we have just the case. What are you going to do with all of those CDs you’ve been ripping for your iPod? I know you have them all because all of those MP3s on your iPod are legal… right? Oh well, if not, maybe you need storage for all of your DVDs or software or maybe your photos that you have scanned and burned to CD for safekeeping. What? You haven’t done that, give me a call. Don’t worry negatives and photos are such sturdy media. Yeah right. But I digress. This week Supermediastore has 104 Disc Capacity Black Leather-like Quality CD Binders that will set you back a whole $4! That’s right, $4. To embarrass you even further, they’re also shipping them free. Oh the shame.…
the gizmo
Alright, like everyone else, I’m coming off a big holiday weekend and need to ease back into the groove. That means no personal flying machines or submarines, just a sweet little nugget of a gizmo. So here it is, the earBuddy from Sendstation. A great little practical gizmo, nicely designed at a reasonable price. Plain and simple, the earBuddy provides some much needed shelter for your earbud-type headphones. The earBuddy is constructed from rugged ballistic nylon and features an ABS plastic reel inside for securing your buds and wrapping the wire around. It may be a bit bulky for a pocket, but it also comes with a detachable key ring for easy latch-on functionality. It comes in silver/orange or all black and currently lists for $15.
the gorgeous

In this day and age, we are lousy with MP3 players. You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one. What’s even worse is that many of these companies have done nothing to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack with the exception of Apple’s uber-successful iPod. This is especially true with some of the lame attempts at UI (User Interface). In my opinion, this is one of the most important areas. Samsung, however, has heeded the call. Their new player, the K5, looks to be a winner. Besides looking like a nice chunky block of black glass, it is a full featured MP3 player with a 1.7-inch OLED screen that also contains an FM radio tuner, an incredibly feature-rich alarm clock and most importantly, built-in speakers. Of course you’re not going to be rockin’ any house parties, but they look to be sufficient for say an office or other small space. Here are some stills from CNET’s Asia site that are well worth a look. However, as I stated earlier, the UI is the real star. If you have the time, check out this video and watch it through. My favorite feature is the way they have kept the analog feel of the FM tuner and the number flipping style of those old alarm clocks while using a digital interface. It is definitely worth a look. I’m not sure that it will do any damage to iPod sales, but they are definitely headed in the right direction. For me, I’m still clinging to my 2nd generation iPod.
the green

Everyone knows the benefits of a green roof these days. Besides looking very cool, they offer natural, high-efficiency insulation, meaning residents can save money on their energy bills. Also, up to 40 per cent of rain water is absorbed through the grass which can alleviate pressure on street drainage. Traditionally, a green roof is constructed of a layer of vegetation, a growing medium, a filter layer, a drainage layer, a root resistance layer, and a waterproof membrane. As you can imagine, this type of construction can be a bit much for the every day green consumer or your local contractor. Things can get messy real fast. That is until now. Toyota Roof Garden, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation, has developed an easy way to get anyone started. They have created an irrigation system-ready turf tile that can be laid out like so many of those carpet tiles in finished basements, circa 1975. According to Toyota, the TM9 turf mats measure 20 inches square and two inches thick, are easy to apply and very low maintenance. They use a Korean grass that only needs cutting once a year! Toyota Roof Garden is currently taking orders at $43 per square yard. Forget the roof, I want this on all my floors.…
the gossip
The Apple mobile phone always seems to be right around the corner. I know we have heard this before, but now we have officially moved from just an ambiguous rumor to a slightly more qualified and focused rumor. Got that? Analyst Shaw Wu of American Technology Research states that "Our research indicates that an Apple-designed smart phone has moved from concept to prototype and recently has progressed to near completion as a production unit". Of course not much is being released in the form of details but Wu does tease us with such tidbits as "The design will be an iPod nano-like candy bar form factor and come in three colors (we are not certain of the exact colors but we suspect black, white and platinum, similar to Apple’s current color scheme of iPods and Macs)." Surprisingly, the holdup seems to be with the decision of distribution. Apple is uncertain if they will partner with a traditional carrier (T-Mobile, Cingular, etc.) or go with a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) model that allows more control over the user experience.