I've always preferred prognostication to nostalgia, so rather than replay the best of 2007, I'll use these late December doldrums to make 10 predictions for the coming year. Some editors will warn you that this kind of list is suicide--it's too easy for everybody to look back a year later and see where you were wrong--but it hasn't hurt Cringely, so here goes. In no particular order.
Those little things add up, says Tony Pace, senior vice president of marketing at Subway.
The company switched from buying plastic cutlery made from polystyrene to polypropylene, he noted. The switch saves about 100,000 pounds of resin a year, which translates to 2,800 barrels of oil saved and 1,200 metric tons of carbon dioxide not ejected into the atmosphere, he said.
The chain hands out roughly 400,000 pieces of cutlery a day.
It also switched to polypropylene for its cups. That saves about 515,000 pounds of resin, or 10, barrels of oil saved.
Expect to … Read more
So Warner Music isn't as petty as I thought it was. According to this story in Billboard, Warner didn't ask for YouTube to remove videos of the recent Led Zeppelin show from YouTube. Rather, it was a company called GrayZone, which has been authorized to issue takedown notices on behalf of Warner. In this case, GrayZone acted on presumption, and YouTube's automated system inaccurately attributed the notices to Warner.
This makes an interesting point: under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the copyright owner is responsible for policing each violation and requesting its takedown. (I'm not a … Read more
As a longtime Led Zeppelin fan, I was excited to tune into last night's reunion show in London. Strangely, the show wasn't broadcast anywhere--not even on LedZeppelin.com. Surely somebody could have sold some advertising for such a popular event, and if the promoters objected, they could have donated the proceeds to the Ahmet Ertegun Educational Fund (where funds from ticket sales went).
Fortunately, that's what YouTube is for. Unfortunately, as quickly as fans post their videos (taken on cellphones?) on YouTube, Warner Music Group asks for them to be taken down.
This is completely incomprehensible to … Read more
The Zu Audio Driud Mk. IV is the Audiophiliac's Speaker of the Year! As a former hi-fi salesman and now as a professional audio reviewer for twelve years I've heard thousands of speakers, but the Druid hit me hard. A total rock & roll animal, the skinny monolith/tower feels tremendously powerful, and my samples look extremely cool decked out in brilliant red metallic paint. I initially reviewed the speaker in the March, 2007 issue of Robb Report Home Entertainment. I'm still listening.
A number of American and Canadian speaker manufacturers now outsource production while maintaining sky … Read more
Given the use of LEDs for safety in such activities as bicycling and skiing, it only makes sense that they'd be somehow applied to kids as well. Britepack is offering backpacks in wheeled and unwheeled versions with blinking lights that can make them more visible.
The LEDs are motion-sensitive, meaning that they'll automatically turn off when not being jostled around--which is especially fortunate for teachers, to keep them from developing Tourette's syndrome.
This is apparently how to market a hard drive in today's computer peripherals market: Hire a French designer, put his name on a black box, and add a strip of blue light to it. Voila! Another work of art.
That's what LaCie has done with the latest of its designer collection, following the "Little Disk" by Sam Hecht and the "Golden Disk" by Ora-Ito. The new LED-adorned offering apparently foregoes a unique name, going simply by "LaCie Hard Disk" by Neil Poulton and offered in sizes ranging from 320GB to 1TB. (The … Read more
Battlestar Galactica freaks, take heart. If you're suffering major withdrawl waiting for the series to return in March, you can still pretend you're a Cylon Centurion with an LED-outfitted ski suit, especially if you wear the jacket backwards.
As funky as they may look, these garments may actually serve a practical purpose; after all, if LEDs are being used to improve bicycle safety on the road, surely it doesn't hurt to have a little protection on slopes that can be equally dangerous (skiiers vs. boarders). And as Gizmodo points out, you can wear them in good conscience … Read more
Incandescent bulbs are getting it from all sides these days.
Taiwan may soon join the list of national and state governments to impose regulations that lead to the demise of traditional incandescent bulbs. Neal Hunter, CEO of LED Lighting Fixtures (LLF), says there are rumors in the lighting world that Taiwan will pass legislation that would phase out incandescents by 2011 or 2012. Sporadic reports in Taiwanese papers have come out saying that the Ministry of Economic Affairs wants to get rid of incandescents too.