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Friday, August 29, 2008

Solar Powered Bonsai Tree Can Charge Your iPod and Mobile Phone

Recharge your cellphone, iPod, iPhone and camera with this USB solar powered bonsai tree by French designer Vivien Muller.

Thanks to 54 tiny photovoltaic panels, the iBonsai (we just made that name up) will store energy in a hidden battery during the day, allowing you to recharge your gadgets even at night.

Hate wire clutter? Who doesn't. The bonsai charging tree cleverly hides all wires and plugs under the tray.

Need to slim down the tree's berth so you can fit it on your desk? No problem. You can rotate each part individually and produce an endless number of different shapes. It's like metal adult LEGOS.

The iBonsai Tree is decorative, good for the environment and sexy. It's also just still a concept, so sorry. You can't buy this yet. Hopefully Vivien will sell his concept and get the tree mass produced soon.

[Via methodshop]

Monday, August 25, 2008

New iPods Coming Soon

Is founder and Diggnation star Kevin Rose abusing his Apple contacts? This past weekend Kevin blogged about some new stuff being released by Apple next month including new iPods and an iTunes update.

According to Kevin, Apple will announce the following within the next few weeks:

  • the iPod nano will take on a slimmer, more rounded look
  • the iPod Touch will get an update with a new 2.1 operating system
  • Prices of the iPod line will drop to differentiate the product from the iPhone
  • iTunes 8.0 will be a major new release with several additional features
  • Further out Apple is planning to add Blu-ray support to Mac OS X

Why would Rose risk exposing his Apple contacts by announcing this information? And why now? Rose mentions his Twitter account multiple times in his blog post and urges people to "follow" him on Twitter to get more information. Perhaps Rose is bitter that Barack Obama took the top slot away from him on Twitter earlier this month.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Barack Obama is #1 on Twitter

While John McCain is still learning how to use email (we're not kidding), his U.S. Presidential competition has completely mastered the micro-blogging service Twitter.

This month, American presidential candidate Barack Obama dethroned Kevin Rose from and became the most popular person on Twitter. According to Twitterholic, a website that measures the "followers" of Twitter accounts, Barack Obama has over 58,000 followers.

Obama's closest Twitter competitor is Kevin Rose with 56k followers. Robert Scoble, CNN Breaking News and Leo Laporte help round out the top 10.

Someone not in the Twitterholic top 10... John McCain. In fact McCain isn't even in the top 100. The only serious McCain Twitter account we found has a little over 1,000 followers. A truly pitiful showing for someone who is running for president.

Here's a 101 primer on Twitter and tips on how to explain it. If someone who personally knows John McCain is reading this, please print the article out for him (because you can't email it to him yet).

Tutorial: How to Explain Twitter to Your Grandma

And if you are feeling wild, you can follow @methodshop on Twitter here.



Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Interview with ROCKETON Founders

Steve Hoffman and Eric Hayashi are certainly well-rounded interactive entertainment executives. Their bios are full of so many impressive entertainment and gaming companies that it will make your head spin. Combined, Steve and Eric have worked at Vivendi Universal Games, Virgin Interactive, Infospace, Hasbro Interactive, Sega and Atari.

So what did Steve and Eric do with all that experience? What was the culmination of this vast interactive knowledge? In 2007, Steve and Eric joined forces with Naomi Kokubo and co-founded ROCKETON, a new type of multiplayer social experience that spans the entire web.

Instead of having to go to a separate site or use a specific application like Second Life, ROCKETON turns the entire Internet into a virtual world for browser based avatars. Think of ROCKETON like Second Life + PMOG with a twist of Facebook and a dash of StumbleUpon. It's a Web 2.0 evolutional twist on virtual reality.

MethodShop was lucky enough to get some time with Steve and Eric and grilled them pretty hard about ROCKETON. A link to the full interview is below. Enjoy.

Interview: ROCKETON's Steve Hoffman and Eric Hayashi


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Monday, July 14, 2008

iPhone 3G Launch Problems

The long awaited iPhone 3G was released on Friday, July 11th. But what should have been a happy and joyous day for iPhone fans, ended up being an exercise in frustration for many.

After waiting in line outside of Apple Stores for hours (or even days), some consumers then spent up to 7 hours inside because of "network problems" that slowed or even halted the activation of new iPhones.

The iPhone 3G line outside the Manhattan Apple Store on 14th Street at 12:52PM.
Estimated wait time was ~4 hours.

Apparently Apple's authentication servers weren't prepared to handle the amount of global network traffic from new iPhone 3G activations. Network slowdowns were first reported after stores opened in Europe. The network then came to a halt after US East Coast stores opened. By the time American West Coast stores had started selling iPhones, Apple's servers just couldn't take it anymore and started crashing. It was AT&T's insistence that all phones get activated in the store that caused the problem. During last year's iPhone 1.0 launch Apple had everyone activate their own phone at home through iTunes.

>>>Continue Reading

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008 Launches New "Recommendation Engine"

Digg is rolling out a new recommendation engine this week. The new feature's goal is to help users discover content from like-minded individuals amid the clutter of the 16k+ stories submitted to each day.

You know how when you are browsing and the site suggests related products based on what you are viewing and what you've already purchased? This new Digg feature works kind of the same way. It analyzes your previous "diggs," or stories you've voted for, then lets you know what other users with similar tastes have recommended.

If you want to know more, Digg execs Kevin Rose and Anton Kast go into detail about how it works on the Digg blog.

Rose will also probably explain the new feature during his next Diggnation podcast.




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