Tag Archive: innovations


The controversial V-22 Osprey, the Marine Corps’ hybrid helicopter/airplane just got its first taste of combat… and performed well.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

NYC has embedded sensors throughout the streets of midtown in order to monitor and control the flow of traffic.

Rare Good News in AIDS Fight

A daily pill that costs just 25¢ can prevent both men and women from catching HIV from partners carrying the virus.

The potential impact of this is huge.

Cufflinks designed to mimic the pulsating glow of a Mac “breathing” in sleep mode.

The iCufflinks are available here for $128.00.  The Open Source hardware design and source code available here.

There’s a market in Israel for “Kosher” cell phones, which purposefully lack features like text messaging, etc., among the haredi / ultra-Orthodox communities.  (See, e.g., this for details)

However, the IDF and others are trying to ensure that these phones can receive emergency messages.  They want to be sure that these messages, and only these messages get through.

(Oh, and it doesn’t mention whether or not these Kosher phones turn themselves off or refuse phone calls on the Sabbath.  I’d be interested to know that.)

Om Malik has an excellent post on why Kickstarter works (the comments are also worth reading).  He quotes Craig Mod because this really does say it all:

With Kickstarter, people are preordering your idea. Sure, they’re buying something tangible — a CD, a movie, a book, etc — but more than that, they’re pledging money because they believe in you, the creator. If you take the time to extrapolate beyond the obvious low-hanging goals, you can use this money to push the idea — the project — somewhere farther reaching than initially envisaged. And all without giving up any ownership of the idea. This — micro-seed capital without relinquishment of ownership — is where the latent potential of Kickstarter funding lies.

Billionaire Felix Dennis wrote, “ownership isn’t the important thing, it’s the only thing.”  Kickstarter allows creative talents to get seed capital without giving up equity.

Netflix has recently passed two major milestones.  First is that Netflix use is causing a reduction in illicit file sharing.  Second is that Netflix is actually sending out fewer discs than in the past.  These are both the result of the same phenomenon.

Netflix is great, but more than that…  Netflix is: Better Than Free

Netflix, at less than $10 a month, is cheap enough that everyone can get an account inexpensively, but has HD-quality streaming video that streams instantly.  It might not be 100% perfect, but it’s great.  The quality isn’t quite as good as a non-streaming option, such as an HD broadcast or blu-ray discs, but it’s better and faster than other streaming options, like YouTube, etc.

Not only great, but cheap, easy, fast, doesn’t take up room on your hard drive, and is completely legal.  It’s no surprise that it’s taking a larger share of bandwidth and pushing out illegal traffic and its own DVD/blu-ray delivery business.

I found this post of Megan McArdle’s particularly amusing.  All about how much easier and faster it is to cook these days, but how much less of it we do.

She also gives a mention to the “dudeification” of the kitchen (as coined by Helen Rosner of Saveur, who I know from the ol’ college debate days).

I’m guilty of this as a proud owner of a Big Steel Keg grill.  As a city dweller, I keep mine at my parents’ place and have to go out there to play with it.  I do love it though—I’m ready for summer.

(hat tip: FuturePundit)

Square allows small businesses and individuals to collect credit card payments.  It works by using a small hardware dongle that connects to the headphone jack of a mobile device.  The card is then swiped through the device and payments can be collected on the spot.  It works on iPhone, iPad, and Android phones.  Customers sign the device and a receipt is e-mailed to customer.

Square charges 2.75% of every transaction, but there are no monthly or additional fees.  They are now processing more than $1,000,000 in transactions a day.

Some Links:

Square Home Page: https://squareup.com/

http://mashable.com/tag/square/

http://techcrunch.com/2010/04/03/square-ipad/

http://gigaom.com/apple/square-goes-mainstream-with-apple-store-availability/

https://twitter.com/#!/Square

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