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This week at TreeHugger: We finally catch a glimpse of the elusive (finally real) Vectrix 100% electric motorcycle at Oracle OpenWorld. Check out our quick how-to for multi-function printers, to get yourself a one-stop shop for fax, email, scanning, printing and more.
We pull the curtain back on the Eco Media Player; an iPod killer, it may not be, but this pretty slick gadget featuring wind-up power definitely gets our attention. The smart kids at MIT have converted an exercise bike to charge a battery that powers their notebook computer, giving new meaning to the phrase “bike to work.” Lastly, Dell’s new Inspiron 531 is the PC manufacturer’s first consumer desktop to achieve Energy Star 4.0 requirements; so what?
TreeHugger has had its eye on the Vectrix 100% electric scooter for a long time, since we first spied it back in 2005 all the way until we had proof that it really existed, and really worked, too. So, while seeing one here at OpenWorld might not be a big shock to the regular TreeHugger reader, itís still important: to see an innovative product come to market from start to finish; to see that green tech can be sexy and cool; to see a quick glimpse at the future of urban transportation technology and know that itís just the tip of the iceberg. Check out our pics of the shiny new Vectrix and take a test drive today.
Recently, multifunction printers have been made more and more available to provide one stop shopping for all your home office needs; these pretty amazing devices can print, scan, copy, fax, email, and save files to your network, and act as an information hub to bridge the gap between your paper data and your digital data. There are dozens available; which ones are green? Unlike the typical green printer, the choice is not so simple.
The Eco Media Player doesn’t bill itself as an iPod killer, but it does just about everything the ubiquitous media player does (and a little more) as a video player, music player, FM radio, LED torch, photo viewer, hi-fi recorder, memo recorder, data storage device and a mobile phone charger. The eco prefix is applied because it does all of this without need of replacement batteries. Power comes simply from winding a fold-out handle on the rear of the unit (or, if you want to cheat, charging it via USB cable to your computer). One minute of cranking gets you 40 minutes of play time.
The smart kids at MIT never cease to amaze us with their smart-tech mash-ups; most recently, they’ve converted an exercise bike to charge a battery that generates more than enough juice to run a notebook computer. Lazy bloggers and home office employees everywhere, the message is simple: get off your fat asses and start pedaling.
Lastly, Dell’s new Inspiron 531 is the PC manufacturer’s first consumer desktop to achieve Energy Star 4.0 requirements (that puts them in the top 25 of all PCs when it comes to energy efficiency). Featuring a 80 percent-efficient power supply and a paperless owner’s manual, the machine is also auto-set to switch to a low-power sleep state after 15 minutes of inactivity. Entry-level configurations, which start at $369, include an AMD Athlon-64 X2 dual-core processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, 160GB hard drive, CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive, nVidia integrated graphics, Windows Vista Home Basic, and a one-year limited warranty with at-home service and support thrown in for good measure; overall, a pretty solid green machine.
TreeHugger’s EcoModo column appears every Tuesday in Gizmodo.
These giant LED of LED Lamps are twenty times bigger than real light-emitting diodes. They look exactly like the real thing, using 12 normal-sized LEDs inside, two typical long metal legs and a clear acrylic head, which shows a beautiful lightning effect on the wall and ceiling:
Looks like Verizon’s alleged backdoor wheeling-and-dealing was for naught, as the FCC’s basically reaffirmed the open access provisions on the “C” chunk of the 700Mhz spectrum up for auction in what looks to be the actual final set of bidding rules. This should effectively end the ongoing back-and-forth venom-spitting between Verizon and Google, at least about the rules themselves.
Samsung is currently hard at work on what should be the first OLED display capable of wide VGA (800×480) resolution on a screen that measures as little as 3.08 inches across. Quite a leap when you consider that up until now, the best manufacturers could muster was a quarter VGA (320×240) on displays of that size. The redesign should also produce screens that cover the entire NTSC colour range, achieve a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, use less power, an produce nearly instantaneous pixel response times. The upgraded should be ready for production sometime in the summer of next year. [ Samsung via Electronista]
As if Kanye’s beautiful and brilliant prose about Italian fashion, shopping, and bilingualism wasn’t enough to convince you that Italy produces the nicest clothing, the iPolo will make you a believer. Just look at the fine craftsmanship that melds the douchebaggery of a sleeveless shirt with the jackholiness of an on-board iPod pocket. It’s the perfect combination to be both punched in the face and stabbed in the gut—and that’s before you even leave your parents’ house. [iPolo via Crunchgear]
The HAPV or “Human and animal powered vehicle” puts a high tech twist on the old fashioned donkey cart by adding a solar panel that charges a 12-volt battery under the driver’s seat. The power is then used to facilitate cell phone connectivity, front and rear emergency lights and a small neon tube at night. Uses include: a fresh water outlet (water filtration system is optional) a makeshift classroom, school bus, ambulance, and even a mobile phone kiosk. It has everything for the entrepreneur on the go. If you live in rural Africa that is. [Wheel and Water via Afrigadget]
Here you were, thinking the execs in the music industry couldn’t get any more offensively idiotic, when some Brits come along and set a new standard for hubris. Yes, the UK-based Performing Rights Society — the Brit equivalent of ASCAP or BMI — wants to make listening to music loud enough for anyone else to hear an offence punishable by hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Sound like an Onion article? Oh, how I wish it were.
The chumps at PRS are suing Kwik-Fit, a car repair chain, for copyright infringement, claiming that they play their music too loudly and that people can hear it. Yep, that’s the offense. They claim that if you play music loud enough for others to hear, it counts as “performance.” Of course, if Kwik-Fit had a licence to play their music, everything would be dandy. The price of said license? A mere $61,000 a year.
Captain Obvious is getting a promotion to Major today, as TiVo’s CEO Tom Rogers says the TiVo on Comcast rollout is a “little behind” schedule. For those of you like us who are on Comcast’s DVR (which stands for Dropping Video Regularly), TiVo has been planning to put their fancy UI on top of Comcast’s current Motorola DVR boxes, allowing you to essentially use a TiVo without having to buy a TiVo. The good news is that they’re “waiting for word any time now that the first non-Comcast employee will begin to get the service,” so keep your hopes up, America. [Reuters]
For those of you who wanted the Sat-GO, DirecTV’s briefcase shaped TV that can pull in satellite broadcasts, but weren’t willing to pay the exorbitant $1499 price tag, good news! DirecTV dropped the price of their Sat-Go portable satellite system by $500, to the still relatively expensive price of $999. But hey, $500 is still $500. And Now you will be able to go out and enjoy the great outdoors without missing any NFL action next weekend. [Product Page via Zatz Not Funny]