Green Gadgets

Barnes & Noble ups the ante with the Nook Touch Reader

Barnes & Noble ups the ante with the Nook Touch Reader

The e-book war between Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle is getting hotter with the introduction of the Nook Touch Reader.

This latest offering from Barnes and Noble has a 6-inch screen, uses E Ink Pearl technology for the display, and weighs less than 8 ounces. The device’s battery lasts up to two months per charge, has Wi-Fi connectivity (but no 3G), and comes with 2 GB of memory installed. It’s reasonably priced at $139, and will be available starting June 10.

PaperPhone makes chunky smartphones and copy paper passé

PaperPhone makes chunky smartphones and copy paper passé When it comes to technology, thin is in. We’ve gone from the portly Walkman to the tiny iPod Nano and from the brick sized cell phones in the 1980s to skinny smartphones. A team of researchers from Arizona State University, Canada’s Queen’s University, and E Ink Corporation want to change the game again with the razor thin PaperPhone that may also create a paper-free workplace.

The Kindle DX is not yet ready for college

The Kindle DX is not yet ready for collegeUsing an e-reader would seem to be a natural fit for academic reading and university study. Rather than hauling massive tomes in a bursting backpack, all the texts could be contained by something like a Kindle DX, which is the size of notebook and weighs just over a pound. But a recent study on how students do academic reading indicates that e-readers still have a long way to go before they are college ready.

To gage the utility of e-books at the university level, researchers at the University of Washington conducted a study using Kindle DX’s with 39 first-year graduate students in the UW’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The goal of the study was to look at the strategies students employ while reading and studying and how the Kindle aided or hindered these strategies.

Pop Push Press makes Al Gore’s book look hip on the iPad

Pop Push Press makes Al Gore’s book look hip on the iPad Al Gore has always been a tech geek; the former Vice President once claimed that he was the guy that invented the internet. Since he left office Gore has been trying to educate the public about the environment with some help from technology like his feature film An Inconvenient Truth. With some help from Pop Push Press, Gore’s latest book called Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis was transformed into an interactive read for the iPad.

Nubo water bottle system makes tap water taste terrific

Nubo water bottle system makes tap water taste terrificYou want to be healthy and drink water rather than soda or a sugary fruit drink. You know that bottled water costs 1900 times more than tap water. You know that bottled water uses 1.5 million barrels of oil per year for both the manufacture of the plastic and the transportation of empty bottles to the bottler and full bottles to stores. And you know that, in spite of the best intentions for recycling, 86% of the bottles are thrown away.

But your tap water tastes awful, too much like chlorine. Before you settle on buying bottled water, however, it might be worth trying the Nubo reusable water bottle filtration system.

Nubo’s innovative design integrates a water filter into in the bottom of the water bottle. The bottle is filled by removing the bottom cap and letting water pass through the filter. The filter uses coconut shell activated carbon, which removes up to 98% of chlorine, and is silver impregnated to inhibit bacterial growth.

Oprah Winfrey’s new favorite thing is Flipboard for the iPad

Oprah Winfrey’s new favorite thing is Flipboard for the iPad Media moguls from Rupert Murdoch to Martha Stewart know that it pays to be on as many platforms as possible in the digital age. People no longer get their news or information from one magazine or newscast, they harness the power of the internet to get it from everywhere. That’s why it’s not a shock that Oprah Winfrey who once called the iPad her “favorite thing ever,” has teamed up with Flipboard to take her content to a whole new level.

IBM’s app will help you beat traffic jams & high gas prices

IBM’s app will help you beat traffic jams & high gas prices We’ve all been there: stuck in traffic just wanting to get to our destination before we drop another four-letter word that’s not allowed on TV. Being stuck at an intersection doesn’t just raise your level of anger, it also wastes an enormous amount of gas. IBM is tinkering with a new smartphone app that will help you get around traffic snafus and save gas at the same time.

If you’ve ever relied on your smartphone for directions you know that many of the apps aren’t that reliable; they aren’t made to give you a warning about construction or even car accidents. Many American drivers don’t realize that on average we sit for 34 hours a year in backed up in traffic and waste $808 in gas. IBM aims to change that fact through their Smarter Traveler project that will predict traffic patterns before they happen.

Apple may boost the iPad’s e-reader cred by adding e-Ink

Apple may boost the iPad’s e-reader cred by adding e-Ink One of the reasons that people are attracted to the iPad is its stunning design; grown men are turned into blubbering messes in stores just at the sight of the shiny tablet. While that may attract some customers, it also turns off those that are used to an e-reader with an e-Ink display like the Kindle. Apple may grab a whole new section of the e-reader market with their idea to piggyback an e-Ink display on the white-hot tablet.

Microsoft gets friendly with Toyota’s hybrid & electric cars

Microsoft gets friendly with Toyota’s hybrid & electric cars When it comes to hybrid and electric cars, cool technology features can be a real selling point in the age of gadget obsession. Mini replaced a standard key with a smartphone on their concept scooter and Chevy developed an app that will tell Volt owners the cheapest time to charge up their car. Toyota is looking to get in on the game by partnering with Microsoft to add similar technologies in their hybrid and electric cars.

Major firmware update powers the Nook way past the Kindle

Major firmware update powers the Nook way past the Kindle When it comes to gadgets like smart phones and tablet computers, consumers like gadgets that can have multiple functions through apps and video capability. This fact hasn’t been lost on Barnes & Noble with their Android powered e-reader, the Nook Color. An upcoming firmware update will transform the e-reader into a cheap tablet computer that could smother the Kindle when it comes to sales.