Cool Tool - Bracketron Dash-Mat
The Bracketron Dash-Mat lets you easily place a cell phone, GPS, MP3 player, radar detector, etc., on your dash, and easily move it from car to car.
No drilling, no adhesives, no suction cups. Highly recommended.
The Dash-Mat Portable Mount is a holding device that is compatible with most iPods, Cell Phones, Satellite Radios, PDA's, Handheld GPS and Radar Detectors. Using the physics of weight distribution and a unique high tech anti-skid material the Dash-Mat contours to the top of the dash providing a solid base, allowing for convenient reach and greater portability.
- Weighted, Anti-Skid Base
- Conforms To Your Dash
- No Tools Required
- Holds up to Several Pounds
- Arms expand to 3.75 inches
- Easily View Your GPS While Driving
SKU 874688001303, Model UFM-200-BL
USB Sync&Charge cable for Amazon Kindle
This "Lovely Retractable Sync and Charge Cable for Palm Zire 31 72" from suntekstore.com (Item Number: 10000496) works to recharge a Kindle 1 from a powered USB port.
Be careful - there are many cables sold as fitting the PalmZire31 that do NOT fit the Kindle 1. The Lovely cable above is the only one of the few we have tried that works.
Commuting to work on a bike - in a suit
Do live in an area where the traffic congestion adds time to your daily commute to work? Have you ever wondered if there might be a better way? Perhaps there is. Watch this video made by Stephen Gale from Melbourne, Australia. He discovered that he could get to work much faster on his electric bike than he could be driving.
"Electric bikes: Suitable Transportation? Of course, just ask Stephen Gale!," by Jeremy Korzeniewski, AutoblogGreen, April 12, 2007
Stephen Gale, a practical guy (who last rode a bike the day before he gained his drivers licence), has riden all the way from Melbourne to Sydney over eight days while wearing a business suit. He didn't plan to break any records, in fact he wants to show just how easy it was.
Previously on Hobnob Blog: "Electric Bikes," September 9, 2007
Parents - save a new driver's life!
In 2005, 5,288 teenagers died in the United States from crash injuries. Such injuries are by far the leading public health problem among people 13-19 years old. In 2004, the latest year for which data are available, 38 percent of all deaths among 16-19 year-olds from all causes were related to motor vehicles. The crash risk among teenage drivers is particularly high during the first months of licensure.
Many parents spend thousands of hours and dollars getting their children to and from sports practices and games including soccer, football, lacrosse, field hockey, volleyball, music lessons, dance lesson, etc., but have no problem turning a newly licensed 16-year old loose with a 1 to 2 ton vehicle after a few hours of questionable classroom and behind the wheel instruction. Parents - hello, wake up!
If you want to reduce the odds that you will receive a call from a hospital or police officer about your newly licensed teen driver being in an auto crash, sign them up for the one-day Decisive Driving course from Car Guys.
Decisive Driving is a one day course offered in the VA, MD, DC area that will teach your new driver how to avoid car crashes, how to control a car during a skid, and how to improve the odds that they will not be one of the new drivers that has a crash.
We recently had a new driver take this course and we saw immediate improvements in driving skills after the course. The best $300 and 1-day we have invested in a long time. Highly recommended.
Picks up where conventional driving programs stop. It teaches skills that can take years to develop by accelerating the learning curve in a safe environment. In one day, we provide drivers with intensive training and hands-on experience that lays the foundation for a lifetime of good driving habits.
Decisive Driving, 301-984-8300
- "Deadly teen auto crashes show a pattern," by Jayne O'Donnell, USA TODAY, March 1, 2005
- "Is 16 too young to drive a car?" by Robert Davis, USA TODAY, March 1, 2005
- Q&As: Teenagers -- graduated driver licensing - from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
- Teenager Driving Contract
- Adept Driver, producers of TeenSmart
Electric cars - EV and hybrid
photo labeled: "First electric car in Wichita." (ca. 1920)
- Tango - $108,000
- Tesla - $98,000 and up
- ZENN - neighborhood electric vehicle (NEV)
- Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) - NEV
- Spark 6000ZK - NEV from Spark EV
- The Top Ten electric vehicles you can buy right now (for the most part) - from AutoblogGreen, February 7, 2007
- Plug In America
- EV World
- EV Finder - used electric vehicles
- electric cars - c|net
- Electric Auto Association - Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
- Electrifying Times
- EV/Plug-IN category on AutoblogGreen
- Electric Car Weblog - Jerry Halstead
- Plug-in hybrid - from Wikipedia
- Neighborhood electric vehicle - from Wikipedia
- Battery electric vehicle - from Wikipedia
Bikes with Shimano 8-speed hub & Bicycle Commuting
Shimano Nexus 8
- Shimano Nexus 8 "Red Band" gearhub: review thread - Mountain Bike Review
- Shimano Nexus 8-speed Hubs! - from Harris Cyclery
- Dahon has several models: Mu XL, Ciao P8, Glide P8, folding bikes
- Cannondale Street Premium, Daytripper Premium
- Bianchi/Harris San Jos8 - from Harris Cyclery
- Bianchi Milano
- Breezer Uptown 8Sheldon Brown says, "The Breezer Uptown 8 is the best commuter bike available in the U.S."
- Electra Townie 8
- Bilenky MetroLuxe
- Dynamic Crosstown 8 - shaft drive, chainless bicycles
- Dutch Bike Co.
- Biria - EZ Boarding Superlight 8, EZ Boarding Lite 8
- Trek Soho 4.0
Shimano Alfine 8
How to really secure your data....
Design for the Other 90%
On view in the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden, this exhibition highlights the growing trend among designers to create affordable and socially responsible objects for the vast majority of the world's population (90 percent) not traditionally serviced by professional designers. Organized by exhibition curator Cynthia E. Smith, along with an eight-member advisory council, the exhibition is divided into sections focusing on water, shelter, health and sanitation, education, energy and transportation and highlights objects developed to empower global populations surviving under the poverty level or recovering from a natural disaster.
Design for the Other 90% is an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.
"The real stars of the show, though, are the stories behind the designs." microscopiq, May 17, 2007
They don't need a handout. What they need is an opportunity.
. . .
A poor person actually only cares about one thing: making more money. If they have more money, they can get ahead, take their family out of poverty.
-- Martin Fischer, Kickstart International
The introductory video also provided an opportunity to explore an additional range of themes that may not be as apparent, running through the exhibition and this area of design: open source options, leapfrog technology, economic impacts, community building, testing and end-user research, low-cost innovations, social enterprise, humanitarian entrepreneurship, improved democracies and multiple calls to action.
"In Their Own Words," Design for the Other 90% blog, May 14, 2007
Design for the Other 90% (web site), an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum through September 23, 2007. Cooper-Hewitt, web site, 2 East 91st Street, New York, NY, M-Th 10 am - 5 pm, F 10 am - 9 pm, Sat 10 am - 6 pm, Sun Noon - 6 pm. $ Admission fee.
- "Design for the other 90%: A review of the Cooper-Hewitt exhibition," by Natalia Allen, Core77, May 2007
- Design for the Other 90%, FastCompany, May 10, 2007
- "Alice Rawsthorn on design for the unwealthiest 90 percent," The International Herald Tribune, April 29, 2007
At a new online site called HedgeStreet, investors can bet on changes in home prices in certain cities. And later this month the Chicago Mercantile Exchange is going to start trading futures contracts pegged to housing-price indexes in ten major metropolitan areas. The Chicago plan, which is the brainchild of two economists, Karl Case, of Wellesley, and Robert Shiller, of Yale, is straightforward: if you just spent, say, $1.5 million on a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, and you want to hedge against the risk that it might be worth $1.2 million three years from now, you can sell contracts that will reap you a profit if local prices fall, allowing you to lock in the current value of your home. Alternatively, if you think the housing boom in Los Angeles still has a ways to run—or if you’re interested in buying a year from now but are afraid that you’ll be priced out of the market—you can place a bet that will pay off if prices keep going up.
"Through the Roof," by James Surowiecki, The New Yorker, May 1, 2006
- HedgeStreet (requires cookies)
- "E-futures for the People: HedgeStreet connects Wall Street with Main Street," RedHerring, April 3, 2006
- "CBOE, HedgeStreet join forces: Firms look to deepen liquidity, market 'hedgelets'," by John Spence, MarketWatch, February 22, 2006
- "Investors get new Net spot," by Kathleen Pender, SFGate, September 29, 2005
- "Derivatives on housing prices," Marginal Revolution, December 21, 2004
Best office chair?
Modern office chairs have grown far too complicated. Their underbellies have sprouted gnarly forests of knobs and levers. Their instruction manuals have thickened into tomes. On occasion, new chairs are equipped with explanatory CD-ROMs. This is absurd: Since when have we needed an animated schematic to teach us how to sit on our keisters?
Answer: Roughly since 1994—the year of the Aeron.
"Sit Happens: A search for the best desk chair," by Seth Stevenson, slate, December 6, 2005
Seth Stevenson's list includes:
the Aeron, which he rates as "Very Good, But Not Superb." We still like ours....
Number 2 is Let's B, by Turnstone, at $399 a "best buy"
Number 1?Continue reading "Best office chair?"
U.S. Congress Votes Database - Washington Post
Today the Washington Post launched a news website, The U.S. Congress Voters Database, that allows users to browse data from the 102nd Congress (1991) to the 109th Congress (present).
"Washington Post Launches U.S. Votes Database," by Sabrina Pacifici, BeSpacific, December 5, 2005
Cool Tool - 6GB Creative Zen Micro
The Long Tail explains why he picked a 6GB Creative Zen Micro instead of an iPod Nano ... the Creative Zen Micro has ... removable mini-disk ... a removable and rechargeable lithium-ion battery that gives 12 hours of play per charge ... FM radio ... built-in voice recorder ... personal organizer that synchs with Outlook ... random shuffle ... for under $200 ... Rhapsody to Go is a music service (like iTunes) that works with the Creative Zen Micro ... for $15 per month ...
- Zen Micro product page from Creative
- "Zen Micro & Rhapsody The Perfect Match," Audio GoGo, June 26, 2005
- c|net review
- "I Bought A Creative Zen Micro After Evaluating the Apple iPod Nano Closely," by RetroSight
- "RealNetworks Rhapsody Music Service," Time, April 27, 2005
- "Creative Zen Micro Photo to get storage bump, price cut," engadget, August 13, 2005
- "RealNetworks Unveils Rhapsody to Go," by Ryan Naraine, eWeek, April 26, 2005
- Napster is $15 / month
Cool Tool - Egg & Muffin 2-Slice Toaster and Egg Poacher
[T]he idea of being able to have perfect egg mcmuffins (without meat) at home was enticing. After making a couple, I'm hooked. The product does exactly what it's supposed to do, making sure both the egg and the muffins are perfectly done at the same time (it waits a while to toast).
Toaster, egg cooker, and meat warmer--this innovative unit combines all three functions into one easy-to-use appliance. The unit can be used solely as a full functioning toaster, or it can simultaneously toast bread, poach or steam-scramble an egg, and warm a pre-cooked slice of meat--or any combination of these three functions--to make the ultimate breakfast sandwich at home in just four minutes.
Cool Tool - Flight Tracking from FlightAware
FlightAware is "A free and powerful flight tracker that will change how you think about flight status, tracking, and analysis."
Check out this very cool movie ... "Animation of all flight movements tracked by FlightAware during a 24-hour period in September, 2005"
Live Flight Tracking: "View schedule and track activity for any private (IFR) or commercial flight. See scheduled, enroute, and recent flight activity for any airport."
Dual Lock Fastener Tape
To me, as a commuter, one of the most impressive parts of the EZ Pass toll-paying system is the hardcore industrial "velcro" tape they give you to attach your transponder to your windshield. . . . I use mine to attach my iPod to my dashboard, and tools to the wall in my workshop. S.S. Flanders
"Dual Lock Fastener Tape: Heavy duty velcro," Cool Tools, November 4, 2005