Sep 28

Kindle Fire Announcement

Today Amazon announced that they are releasing the Kindle Fire on November 15. Many have asked me why I would want to get a Kindle Fire when I can get or have an iPad. If you ALREADY have an iPad it is a bit more difficult of an argument. However, if you do not have an iPad, and really want a tablet device where you can read books, watch video, listen to music, and browse the web, yet are scared away by the cost of entry for an iPad….well here is you chance to dive in.

iPad price: $500
Kindle Fire price: $200

Where Amazon is going with the Kindle Fire is an outlet for their content. You have Amazon Cloud Player for Music where you get unlimited storage, you have Amazon Instant Video (which is on it’s way to being a strong competitor to Netflix), you have Kindle books as an e-reader. Plus, for the last year+ Amazon has been building an Android Appstore that is a strong competitor to Google’s own Appstore. The apps from the Amazon Appstore are supposed to work out of the chute.

The size complaints are only temporary. The 7″ Kindle Fire being released in November is pretty much identical to the Blackberry Playbook. Manufactured and designed by the same third party. In the past Amazon has used their own in-house design team for Kindle. Yet, they really wanted to get something to market before the holidays this year and would not have been able to with their in-house design team. The plan is that we will see a 10″ Kindle Fire, designed by the in-house Kindle design team, this spring to truly rival the iPad, and still for a lower price.

One of the advantages that Amazon is betting on is their “Prime Members” who pay $79/year for free 2-day shipping. They also get free Prime Instant Video, very much like Netflix. It is not their entire video catalog, but about $25% and growing rapidly. Just Monday Amazon announced they were adding Fox titles to the Prime Instant Video Catalog. And then there is the Unlimited storage of music in the Amazon Cloud Player.

So it is not so much the Kindle Fire being the big deal here, but rather a single device giving you easy access to Amazon’s broad content offering.

Jul 04

Plant This Cardboard Box to Grow 100 Trees


The Life Box is a perfectly normal cardboard box. Sellers can ship goods in it. Receivers can recycle it. But recycling would be a waste, as the Life Box can also be torn up and planted to grow 100 trees.

The makeup of each box is simple—recycled paper laced with 100 or so tree seeds, each dusted with mycorrhizal fungal spores. When planted, the seeds sprout thanks in part to the nurturing fungus. Hopefully, the UPS guy doesn’t get the box wet, or the process might start a bit early.


Right now, Life Boxes are produced on the small scale. You can order up to 100 for your business at an undisclosed price, or a single for $30-$50. (Yes, it’s too pricey to consider.) But imagine if a big company—like an HP or a Sony—got behind the idea and funded the process on scale. As inhabitat points out, “a 1-2% share of the cardboard box market in the United States could cover up to 25,000 acres of land per week.” And if only one tree from from any box survives for 30 years, it’ll still suck up a literal ton of carbon.

Company: Life Box

Originally posted at Gizmodo by Mark Wilson

Jun 14

Use Paracord as a Tangle-Free Headphone Sleeve


Rather than learn fancy wraps or buy specialty holders to manage headphone tangles, why not sheath your standard earbuds in paracord, that durable, hard-to-twist wonder material? One crafty Instructables writer shows us how.

By running your headphone wires through some paracord and rebuilding the Y junction, you get an audio set that hardly ever ties in on itself, is far less prone to breaks or rips, and can be changed in color, too, if you don’t dig the hue the cord came in.

The author notes that on some cheaper headphones (likely those you’d use for this mod, anyways), performing this hack might result in a little audio quality loss, and that having the paracord rub against your skin or clothing might result in some occasional audible grinding. He gets around that by re-soldering a connection and adding a clip to his headphones, but the takeaway is that you shouldn’t pull this off on headphones you spent a lot of good money on. Otherwise, it turns a cheap, flimsy pair into a durable, convenient audio device.

Sleeving Earphone / Earbud Cords with Paracord [Instructables]

Originally posted at Lifehacker by Kevin Purdy

Jun 14

Throw Smelly Shoes in the Freezer to Freshen Them


Photo by Môsieur J.

It’s always possible to keep your shoes smelling like the day you bought them. If your shoes are starting to give your nose a double take, how-to site eHow suggests putting them in the freezer to kill the smell.

I’m not suggesting to throw your dirty shoes into the freezer without any kind of barrier, though. Put the shoes in a plastic zip-lock bag, and put the shoes in overnight to kill the smell. Web site eHow explains that the freezer temperatures in the fridge kills the odor-causing bacteria.

Sure, you can sprinkle cat litter or baking powder in your shoes to deodorize them, but those methods require a possible trip to the market (or a cat). The freezer method is another free and easy alternative to get your shoes smelling fresh again.

How to Freshen Smelly Shoes

Originally posted at Lifehacker by Erica Ho

Jun 07

Your Sippy Cups Are Probably Gnarlier Than You Think


Ours sure were. Shockingly, I not only noticed how chewed up and beat up they were, but I actually did something about it. The new cups sparkle like jewels.

And now they have some tricky silicon cover, which is good, because these Take & Toss cups most definitely leak when they get tipped over. Though I suspect those things’ll last about two minutes knowing my son.


The First Years Take And Toss Spill Proof Cups, 4 Pack, Colors May Vary , 10 Ounce
The First Years Take And Toss Spill Proof Cups, 6 Pack, Colors May Vary , 7 Ounce

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