Artsy Wall Of Birdhouses Made From Recycled Materials May Not Be A Good Idea.

Thank you Gizmodo and Andrew Liszewski for coming up with the best article headline of the week:

Wall of birdhouses.

From the article:

“So while this artsy initiative [Happy City Birds] that turns recycled materials into birdhouses sounds like a lovely way to spruce up a neighborhood, it’s hard to imagine the deafening racket coming from this wall. The deafening racket or the mountain of crap that’s going to end up on the sidewalk below.”

Building birdhouses out of recycled materials is good. Extreme isn’t. [Gizmodo]


Pharmaceutical Drug Heist Foiled By A Bottled Water. Maybe We Should Just Let Criminals Drink It.

Amaury Villa and Amed VillaGizmodo posted an article, The Largest Pharmaceutical Drug Heist in History Was Ruined By a Water Bottle, about an $80 million robbery that was partly solved by captured fingerprints on a bottle of water that was left behind. Bottled water, crime fighter? I think I’ve been too hard on the bottled stuff and I guess there could be exceptions. So criminals, please drink the heck out of that bottled water and if you can, eat something greasy while you do. No sense in committing a crime thirsty so be sure to bring it along. [NBC Connecticut via Gizmodo]


Power Felt: Body Heat Generated Power

Thanks again Gizmodo for posting “Your Sweaty Ass Could Soon Be Charging Your Phone” about Power Felt fabric and its ability to generate electrical current from the differences in body heat and outside temperatures. Power Felt was developed by researchers from the Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials at Wake Forest University and is still a long way from producing enough power to charge a smartphone but it’s early.

We hope they find success and we’d like to help but this is science and way beyond our scope. The only way Jubbling can possibly help is by finding the best person to test the effectiveness of Power Felt’s sweat-power generating ability …

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The Consumption Expansion Show (CES 2012) Is Over – Here’s One Reporters Take

Loneliest Booth at CES 2012I’ve never been to CES but I have been to enough trade shows to know what a pain in the ass they are for both the attendees and booth operators. You scum around all day feigning interest in Company D’s products with the hope that you’ll get an invite to their party that evening. At the party, it’s a sales puke sausage fest with hired local talent to entertain you into more interest in Company D’s products. The end result – you’re creating a quantity 1000 purchase order for a product that nobody probably needs but that you now have QTY 1000 reasons for them to buy. It’s an ugly circle that surrounds CES and other trade shows and ultimately, it’s about consumption.

That’s why it was nice to read Matt Honan’s post on Gizmodo about his take on CES 2012. Here’s a portion:

I try to remember all the products I’ve talked about that I won’t even bother to cover—and that nobody’s going to buy. There were some Bluetooth speakers. Or maybe they were WiFi. But there was definitely a helmet cam. And a waterproof phone. And a tablet and an ultrabook and an OLED TV. There was ennui [weariness] upon ennui [lack of interest] upon ennui [boredom] set in this amazing temple to technology.

An executive in a really nice suit from an up-and-coming display company tells me they plan to ship a half a million units this year. I try to figure out how much that is in kilograms of rare earth metals, but I can’t.

The full article is a great read and accurately reports the effect of trade shows like CES. It’s all about the “want” in consumption and not about the need of it.


The Doggie Treadmill, Laser Chase Cat Toy, And Litter Robot Should Never Find A Place In Your Home.

From Gizmodo - Here, Boy

San Antonio Express-News, Jerry Lara/AP

Gizmodo might’ve gone too far with their article “7 Tools For Negligent Pet Owners.” The article itself was interesting as most are on Gizmodo and the splash image of the lonely rain soaked dog sitting in the middle of the street was touching. But the convenience products the article offered as penance for guilt-ridden pet owners were a little over the top. Here’s a sample with Giz’s comments followed by our own:

Gizmodo – “Without a doubt the worst part of owning a pet is having to clean up after it, and I’m not talking about food crumbs.”
Jubbling – Without a doubt the best reason not to get a pet is if you have to shell out $340 on one of these Litter-Robots because you hate to clean up after your pets. Only upside of the Litter-Robot: it reminds us of the guy choosing to live in the egg-shaped house on the streets of Beijing.
Litter Robot
Egg-House Living Guy In Beijing China

Automated Laser Chase Cat Toy
Gizmodo – “Instead of having to manually direct a red dot around a room with your hand, this little pod does all the work for you, randomly moving it about at four different speeds.”
Jubbling – If pointing a laser pointer around the room for your cat to play with requires too much effort, you probably shouldn’t get a cat.
Automated Cat Laser Toy

Canine Treadmill
Gizmodo – “Unless you happen to have an exercise room with enough space for a treadmill of their own. This smaller version, designed specifically for canines…”
Jubbling – So basically, if you haven’t purchased a full blown treadmill for your dog already, here’s a more compact $550 one that is smaller and designed specifically for your dog.
Doggie Treadmill

Two weeks ago, my daughter’s pet hamster Freddy past away and I wasn’t surprised to find hamster coffins available for people that want to send their former buddy off in style. Fortunately, we had an iPhone box and that did the trick nicely.

Pets give so much to their families, especially kids, and all they ask for in return is food, water, affection and a little of our time. Anything we do beyond that is our own consuming fault.


Science&Sons Phonofone III Or Ceramic Coffee Cup?

Ok, the Phonofone III is a great idea. It’s a self-powered ceramic iPhone 4 speaker that kicks out sound in much the same way as the old gramophone wind-up phonographs worked. Your iPhone 4 sits in a base with its speakers pointed down and the audio is channeled, amplified and sent out of the cone shaped speaker. According to Science&Sons’ website, the Phonofone will amplify your iPhone’s audio 4x’s elevating it to 60 dB without the need for electricity. The Phonofone is currently being sold directly by Science&Sons for $195 + shipping.

Done deal – let’s buy one, right? Not really. Gizmodo, one of my favorite sites, always encourages visitors to post comments about the article they just read and the Phonofone III had its share. One of the recurring themes in the comments pushed the idea that the Phonofone III is cool but can be easily duplicated by putting your iPhone 4 in a ceramic coffee cup. I had to try it myself and not surprisingly, it worked great. I didn’t measure how much the audio amplified in the coffee cup but it was a obvious improvement. Changing the angle of my iPhone 4 in the coffee cup also tweaked the bass and treble levels.

Don’t get me wrong, I still like the Jubbling built into the electricity-free Phonofone III but I’m just not in a rush to go out and buy one. Maybe a smaller and less expensive version that also worked as a coffee cup might be enough to justify my purchase. Or maybe Science&Sons could create a version that was clear and let your iPhone 4 sit behind magnified glass – then you could amplify your audio and magnify your video. Or maybe I should just stick with the coffee cup for now.