Green Tech

Eton’s Solar-Powered Rukus Is Ready for the Pool

  Warm weather is just about here, which means you’ll likely be spending more time outdoors — hopefully at the beach or pool! Assuming that you are careful about the obvious hazards such as water, sand, and too much sun, the next hurdle to outdoors musical enjoyment is finding a power source. Sun worshippers who have the new Eton Rukus, the “first portable Bluetooth sound system with a solar panel”, will be able to enjoy their favorite songs streamed wirelessly from any…


Do Movies Like Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Lorax’ and ‘Wall-E’ Make a Difference?

My family went to see The Lorax in 3D yesterday. It took a little bit of convincing for Kev’s almost-13-year-old to get into the spirit of seeing a “kid’s cartoon”, as she was much more interested in seeing Eddie Murphy’s 1000 Words [not happening], but the 9-year-old was eager enough. Mentioning that the movie was done by the creators of Despicable Me (a DVD go-to favorite of theirs) got everyone in a good mood, and we were off! Many of you will remember the Dr….


iPhone 4 Gear Review: The Etón Mobius Rechargeable Battery Case with Solar Panel

Can you picture yourself out camping for a week? Your car is parked in a lot miles away, and you have been hiking for days. You’ve got everything you need in your backpack, and you’ve been eating those freeze-dried dinners that they sell at REI. Civilization is nowhere near, and you are looking forward to having a shower … in a few more days. You want to stay in touch with your family, but there are no chargers built into…


Etón Introduces Mobius NSP300B, a Solar iPhone 4 Charging Solution

The name is a mouthful, unless you shorten it to Mobius, but the idea is simple: place a solar panel on the back of an iPhone 4, and you won’t ever need to worry about not being able to charge — assuming natural light is plentiful, of course. Differentiating itself from solar-charging solutions on the market today, Mobius features a quick charge time and the ability to store charge until you need it. The high-efficiency monocrystal solar panel re-charges the…


Gear Diary PSA: 10 Ways to Reduce Your Dependance on Foreign Oil

In a summer where ‘double dip’ refers to the economy as much as to an ice cream treat, and with gas prices at the pump only one of dozens of higher costs associated with increasing oil prices, the need to lessen our dependance on foreign oil is acute. To that end, the environmental group Environment America has launched a campaign called Get Off Oil, and has a Facebook and Twitter presence dedicated to the cause. The focus, according to their…


Review: The Joy Factory Zip USB Touch-n-go Multi-Charging Station with ZipTail Receivers

Charging cables and cords… they’re everywhere. Literally everywhere. Have an iPhone? You need a 5W wall adapter and a USB cable. An iPad? You need a 10W wall adapter and a USB cable. Using a Samsung Galaxy Tab? You’ll need one of their proprietary chargers. Have a Blackberry or Android phone? Most likely you need a microUSB adapter connected to a wall charger. And the list goes on and on. I hate the mess of cords. That’s why I’ve been…


Intel’s “Upgrade Your Life” Event

Along with 12 other site owners, I was invited to attend the Intel “Upgrade Your Life” experience in Santa Clara, California on July 13th. I went into this event with no itinerary and no idea of what we were going to see, but I figured it had to be more than “just” processor chips. Sure enough, I was in for an eye-opening day … After a greeting by Intel’s Social Media guru Alison Wesley and an ice-breaking game of ‘guess…


Forward with Ford: Safety, Innovation, & Being Green!

I recently joined a group of online and traditional media for the “Forward With Ford” event at Ford’s Dearborn facility for a multi-day event covering trends and technologies that Ford is addressing. Before attending, I was offered the choice of exploring three of the following sessions; I chose the ones with stars next to them. ?Living Green As gasoline prices continue to rise, fuel efficiency has become an even more important purchase factor for consumers looking at buying a new…


Random Cool Technology: Charge Your Cell Phone Battery By Typing!

Yesterday my cell phone battery was dead just after lunch – poor signal combined with heavy use killed it quickly. That is a tale all-too familiar to many. But imagine if walking could help recharge your devices, or typing on your phone screen? That is exactly the technology being described in the new edition of the technical journal Advanced Functional Materials. Here are some details: This ANU article quotes lead co-author Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran from RMIT: This is the first…


Chevy Volt: A Week in the Life

I have written about the new Chevrolet Volt extended-range electric vehicle before so I am not going to go into too much technical detail here. This time I am going to delve into the “electric lifestyle” that would surround a consumer who drives one of the new breed of vehicles home. It did not take me long to figure out a week with an electric vehicle was going to require some different thinking. In fact, when the vehicle was delivered,…


Giveacar.co.uk Helps You, uh, Walk off into the Sunset

We here at Gear Diary thought we’d make you aware of a way to rid yourself of technology; automotive technology, that is. Old, unwanted automotive technology, of course. (You don’t really think a site called GEAR DIARY is going to encourage you to dump your technology and go all monk-like, do you?) If you have a car you are not using (or which is no longer usable), but aren’t sure of how best to dispose of it, Giveacar.co.uk (oh, yeah,…


B-Squares Makes Solar Power Flexible

Kickstarter allows some really cool projects to become reality by giving startups the opportunity to be funded by small, individual commitments of support. (I know a few of us on the site have helped fund some projects and took great satisfaction in being part of something new. It also doesn’t hurt that sometimes the funding also yields an early units of whatever is being created. )  One project that I really hope becomes reality is B-Square’s Modular Solar Powered electrics. B-squares…


Undo the Damage Inflicted on Marine Life with Recycled Carpet and Bottles? You Bet!

  It is hard to believe but thanks to recycled carpet and water bottles marine areas that are currently “dead zones” can be brought back to life. Bruce Kania, CEO of Floating Island International has developed a way to create artificial islands from the garbage and, in the process bring life back to aquatic areas that would otherwise remain dead zones. Kania’s company takes the debris and uses it to create a “loofah-like mesh of plastic”. They then add soil and…


Kickstarter Project Focus- The Vere Sandal Company

I’m really digging this whole Kickstarter concept. If you are not familiar with Kickstarter, it is an online threshold pledge system for funding creative projects. Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavors,ranging from indie film and music to journalism and food-related projects. One of a new set of fundraising platforms dubbed “crowdfunding”, Kickstarter facilitates gathering monetary resources from the general public, a model which circumvents many traditional avenues of investment. Project owners choose a deadline and a target minimum…


Chevy Volt: Out of the Box

Buck fifty a day. According to the automaker, that is all it will cost you to operate your new Chevy Volt Extended Range Electric Vehicle when used in EV mode only. The car that GM is calling the “game-changer” is arriving in select markets this month. We spent some quality time with the Volt and its team members on a recent jaunt in the Texas Hill Country north and west of Austin. The event provided a few eye openers, some…


Volt, Leaf, the EPA and the Future

It is almost time to pack a bag to head down to Austin, Texas for a full evaluation of the new Chevy Volt (recently named Motor Trend’s Car of the Year) and in doing a little prep work online I notice EPA fuel economy ratings for it and the Nissan Leaf EV have been released along with new stickers and classifications by the governing body. The two vehicles are similar in size but vary in styling and technology. Leaf will…


Lexus CT200h Sporty New Hybrid CrossTourer

Lexus has a new hybrid vehicle being readied for market and let me begin by saying I wish them more luck with this CT200h hybrid sportwagon than they saw with the HS250h hybrid sedan that debuted last year. Lexus’ last sporty wagon was on the inaugural IS300 platform and was dubbed SportCross. I was assured the CT200h is not intended to be the next SportCross but the two do share bloodlines and driving dynamics. We spent some time with Lexus…


iPhone 4 Case Review: Apolis Global Citizen Transit Issue Smartphone Wallet

Companies like Apolis don’t come around very often.  After I had agreed to review their latest offering, a wallet style case for the iPhone 4, I went to read up and learn more about the brand.  What I read really made me stand up and take notice.  Work conditions at the Chinese factory that produces the iPhone have been all over the news of late and details on the numerous suicides by the Chinese workers are shocking.  We’ve all read…


Looking for a Job AND Trying to Save the Planet? Here is Where You Should Live!

I have been lucky in my current job that in addition to making cell phone screens more durable and presentation projectors that can fit in your pocket, I have also been able to work on things with specific objectives of cleaning up the environment. It is satisfying when work you love also benefits the planet. At the same time I have friends who have still been unable to find work that is at the level they had before the recession,…


iPhone 4 Case Review: Bioserie, Made From Plants

I’ve reviewed a ton of cases for the iPhone over the last few years. Cases made from leather, silicone, plastic, metal, felt, fabric and polycarbonate. But the Bioserie case for the iPhone is the first case I’ve reviewed that’s made entirely from advanced bioplastic materials which are derived entirely from plants. Here’s some technical information from Bioserie on how this is done. Bioplastics are a variety of plastics derived from renewable biomass sources, such as plant starches or microorganisms, rather…


Maybe It’s Time to Revisit the DutchTub

Yesterday was a cold, damp day here in the northeast., and tomorrow looks like more of the same. This is the type weather that makes you want to do anything you can to warm up, which prompted my wife Elana to say, “This is when you want… no, you need a hot tub.” Of course, the problem is that the place where we would like to put it is nowhere near an electrical outlet. Luckily there is a solution. photo…