April 25, 2007

Every wonder just what kind of fossil-fuel generated juice that little gadget is sucking up? We are in the shadow of Earth Day and we should be asking ourselves these types of questions. Get yourself the Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor and wonder no more. Just plug your gadget into the Kill A Watt monitor and with its large LCD display, it will count consumption by the Kilowatt-hour, same as your local utility. Kill a Watt can also check the quality of your power by monitoring Voltage, Line Frequency, and Power Factor. In addition, it could also be a great learning tool for kids. Supermediastore is offering it up this week for $17.99.
It’s like a halitosis breathalyzer. Here’s a little help for those folks always worrying, sometimes for good reason, about their breath. You know who you are… actually I take that back, if you did you wouldn’t need this. The BreathAlert from Tanita takes the guesswork out of it. It measures the volatile sulfide compounds and hydrocarbon gas that are normally present when your breath is a stinkin’. It is nice and compact and runs on AAA batteries. It also as a nifty little display that, on an odorific scale of 0 to 3, shows just how bad your breath really is. So stop relying on that old cupping your hand trick, it’s not working… It can be tough to find in stock, but I managed to find it available here and here.
Seiko has been making major contributions to the world of watches since it introduced its first in 1924 and continues the tradition today with this new wonder. The new E Ink watch for women is more like one of Wonder Woman’s bracelets than a watch. This new technology is based on a flexible display consisting of what Seiko is calling electronic ink. This flexible film allows the display to be wrapped completely around the entire bracelet-style watch. The thin profile measures 6.9mm thick, 22mm wide and weighs just under 3 ounces. The best part, in order to protect that new display technology, Seiko has clad the entire circumference in a solid 360° continuous sapphire crystal. This beauty will be shipping later this year for around $2000.
“What should I do with my old computer equipment?” is a question that I get with more frequency these days. Our gadgets can contain hundreds of toxic chemicals. According to the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC), today fewer than 10% of discarded computers are actually recycled. Most end up in landfills or stored at consumers’ homes. SVTC estimates that about 40% of heavy metals found in landfills today come from discarded electronic equipment. On top of filling up our own landfills, up to 80% of electronic waste is exported to developing countries where toxic components are burned, dumped, or smashed apart by impoverished workers and children who lack the proper protection. What is one to do? Well, Earth911 has got the answers! Just go to their site, type your zip code up in the left hand corner and voilà, you’ll get all the recycling information your little heart desires. In addition to featuring e-Cycling resources for your electronic gadgets, Earth911 also has resources for traditional recycling materials like old engine oil and aluminum cans. So let’s get these old gadgets and hazardous materials into the hands of the people that can dispose of them properly and safely.
A few weeks ago I reported on some swirling gossip concerning the iPhone. If you remember, it was reported that the iconic gadget was suffering from some stamina issues. Well, the rumor whirlwind is blowing up again this week. Ars Technica is reporting that the plot is thickening. According to their sources, the delay of Apple’s new operating system, Leopard, is tied in with the iPhone imbroglio. Hon Hai/Foxconn, the alleged manufacturer of the new iPhone, has confirmed to an Ars Technica source that, “Apple had 50 OS engineers working around the clock in Taipei to make sure that this shipped on time. The issue with the iPhone is not the battery, but the software Q/A and OS-related issues.” This displacement of key engineers is allegedly the cause of the Leopard delay. The source also reports that “it does not look feasible that Apple will be able to ship units out in May to make the shipping date in the US (June), so expect units to trickle by end of June or early July.”