Inhabitat’s Week in Green: algae-powered building, 3D-printing vending machine and the Toyota i-Road concept

Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week’s most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us — it’s the Week in Green.

DNP Inhabitat's Week in Green TKTKTK

Now that green design is entering the mainstream, we’re beginning to see the design community tackle larger, more ambitious projects using eco-friendly techniques. Case in point: This week, San Francisco transformed the Bay Bridge into the world’s largest light sculpture by outfitting it with 25,000 LED lights. Because the lights are so energy-efficient, it will cost just $15 per night to run the installation. In Hamburg, workers are putting the finishing touches on the world’s first algae-powered building, which is set to open this month at the International Building Exhibition. A company in Tokyo recently demonstrated a new skyscraper deconstruction technique that harvests energy from the demolition process and salvages almost every piece of the building for reuse. And in Copenhagen, work has begun on a combined ski resort and waste-to-energy plant, which will convert the city’s trash into energy that powers the resort.

The week also saw a number of new advances in the realm of 3D printing. At UC Berkeley, a team of scientists created the Dreambox 3D-printing vending machine, which creates and dispenses objects right before your eyes. Germany-based Nanoscribe GmbH unveiled the world’s fastest nano-scale 3D printer, which can produce 3D objects that are smaller than the diameter of a human hair. An 83-year-old inventor designed an open-source machine capable of turning resin pellets into inexpensive filament for 3D printing, and model Dita Von Teese modeled the world’s first fully articulated 3D-printed gown.

In Switzerland, the 2013 Geneva Motor Show kicked off as automakers unveiled a wide range of features focused on fuel efficiency and safety. On the luxury side of things, Ferrari unveiled the LaFerrari hybrid supercar, which is the company’s first hybrid vehicle. Subaru debuted the Viziv hybrid crossover concept, a sporty two-door car with room for four passengers and a new diesel hybrid powertrain. And Volvo unveiled a new collision-avoidance system that automatically senses when cyclists and pedestrians are in a car’s path and brakes for them. In one of the most interesting unveils at the Geneva show, Toyota showed off its new i-Road concept, a fully enclosed, all-electric three-wheeler.

In other green energy and tech news, the city of Lancaster, Calif., will soon require all new homes to come equipped with roof- or ground-mounted solar panels. The world’s largest solar thermal plant passed its first test in California, proving that it’s ready to enter commercial operation. We shared the inspiring story of 12-year-old Sicily Kolbeck, who’s building a fully functional tiny home outfitted with solar panels, and in one of the coolest TED talks in recent memory, a 13-year-old Kenyan boy presented an LED system that prevents lions from killing livestock. Lighting company Cree broke boundaries by launching an affordable new LED light bulb that looks like an incandescent bulb and casts a pleasing light. But the invention we’d most like to try out is the Ocean Wings wetsuit, a new suit designed by Guillaume Binard that allows its wearer to glide through the sea like a manta ray.

Article source:

In half-baked phone theft, thief slips, posts pot shot of self on victim’s Facebook page

This, police say, is the alleged cell phone thief.

Public Information, Deputy Commissioner)

Evidence can be a menace.

You think you’ve gotten away with something, and then that moment comes along when you suddenly remember that perhaps you’ve left a clue.

This thought may (or may not) have crossed the mind of an alleged cell phone thief.

As the New York Post reports, police in the Bronx feel sure that what happened is that a certain man — whose picture they now have — robbed a 27-year-old woman of her gadget.

He then allegedly used it to take a quite fetching picture of himself smoking pot.

This would not be the first time that someone has used a phone to photograph themselves indulging in plenty of 420.

It might, however, be the first time that the photographer wasn’t aware that the phone was automatically set to post any picture taken on it to the owner’s Facebook page.

You might be asking: “Who does that?” And I will answer that the owner of this stolen cell phone reportedly does.

The police are therefore confident that they now have a picture of the man who allegedly stole the lady’s phone.

I am sure he will be high on emotion when he discovers this.

Article source:

Mavs waive 2010 first-round pick Jones

First-rounder Dominique Jones has been waived, the Dallas Mavericks announced Saturday afternoon.

Jones, a combo guard selected with the 25th pick in the 2010 draft, never made a significant impact for the Mavs. He averaged 3.1 points, 1.8 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 80 games, including four starts.

Sources told’s Marc Stein that patience with Jones had been dwindling for some time. When the Mavs wanted to send Jones back to the D-League for another assignment with the Texas Legends in Frisco, sources said that Jones balked, prompting the team to let him go Saturday.

The reality is that Jones likely would have been the player cut by Dallas had it made a trade before the Feb. 21 trade deadline that required opening up a roster spot.

In October, the Mavs opted not to pick up the team option for next season in Jones’ rookie contract, making it clear that he didn’t fit in the franchise’s future plans.

Before being released, Jones was one of only four players remaining on the Mavs’ roster from the 2010-11 title team. Like Rodrigue Beaubois, Jones didn’t play a second in that postseason, but he did commemorate the championship by getting a large tattoo of the Larry O’Brien Trophy on his neck.

The Mavs’ roster stands at 14 players after Jones’ release.

Article source:

Mobile Miscellany: week of March 4th, 2013

Mobile Miscellany week of March 4th, 2013

If you didn’t get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we’ve opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week, alongside smartphone leaks, admissions of data throttling and a power play at the NFC Forum, we’re introducing a new, hand-picked selection of must-read mobile stories for the week. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore all that’s happening in the mobile world for this week of March 4th, 2013.

Huawei Prism II leaks for T-Mobile

Mobile Miscellany week of March 4th, 2013

It ain’t much of a looker, but evleaks has put out some evidence to suggest that this entry-level Android phone will soon find its place at T-Mobile. The Prism II, manufactured by Huawei, is said to contain a QVGA display, a 1GHz processor (most likely single core), and Android 4.1.1 — its one saving grace. While you might be wondering who’d purchase such a miserly specced phone at this point, the handset may find an important position within T-Mobile’s lineup once the carrier begins asking that customers pay for their phones outright. [@evleaks (Twitter)]

Sprint opens its phones to MVNO providers

If you’re an off-contract Sprint customer and have been considering jumping ship to a lower cost provider such as Boost, Ting or Virgin Mobile, the transition will now be all the easier, as Sprint is now allowing MVNO providers to activate its unused handsets without sweat. The move is designed to reduce the number of smartphones that’d otherwise be headed for recycling or the landfill, but it also has societal benefits. For example, if you know someone in need of a low-cost smartphone solution and you have a Sprint-branded device that’s sitting in a drawer, your donation will save them the expense of purchasing a new handset from the MVNO. [Sprint]

Virgin Mobile UK admits to capping data speeds

Mobile Miscellany week of March 4th, 2013

Virgin Mobile’s UK customers have received rude shocks as of late with data speeds that were perceived as slower than normal. Turns out, those impressions were spot on. This week, the carrier admitted to selectively throttling data speeds to 2Mbps in a trial that’s been underway since mid-February. The new policy applies to both contract and prepaid customers, but not mobile broadband subscribers. Virgin Mobile UK hints that the 2Mbps cap was implemented in order to prevent network overloads and ensure that all subscribers receive a sufficient data connection. For the time being, it seems that customers can expect this to become the norm as implementation expands. That said, it’s never fun to see the rules of the game change mid-play. [The Register, Hexus, Virgin Media forums]

Life Mobile reveals tariffs for UK customers

Mobile Miscellany week of March 4th, 2013

It wasn’t long ago that we learned of Phones4U’s plan to introduce its very own MVNO (based on EE’s network) known as Life Mobile. It wasn’t until this week, however, that we learned what the mobile service will cost. On the low end, subscribers can net the Life 11 plan, which includes 200 minutes, 3,000 messages and 100MB of data. Life 11 runs for £11.00/mo — a reasonable correlation — and like all plans, requires a 24 month commitment. By all appearances, the service is targeted at those with only moderate data needs. To this end, Life Mobile’s most expensive plan includes 2,000 minutes, 3,000 messages, 2GB of data and costs £41 per month. Despite ties to EE, customers are currently limited to 3G connections, but Life Mobile has previously stated that it’ll offer LTE access later this year. [Life Mobile]

Google joins Board of Directors at NFC Forum

Mobile Miscellany week of March 4th, 2013

The NFC Forum can now walk around with a bit more swagger, as its influence (and total membership) is now at an all-time high. This week, Google joined the Board of Directors at the NFC Forum, which will undoubtedly factor into implementation and development of the technology. The group also revealed this week that its membership roster now sits 180 members strong, with 10 new organizations having joined the forum since late November. For those who like a little inside baseball, Google became entitled to its spot on the Board by upgrading its membership level from principal to sponsor. Similarly, Huawei also increased its stake in the NFC Forum by upgrading its membership from principal to associate. [NFC Forum]

Other random tidbits

  • PhoneArena has published evidence to suggest that Sprint will begin selling a purple Galaxy S III on April 12th. [PhoneArena]
  • The Nokia Lumia 920 is now available in yellow from Rogers. Likewise, the carrier is currently running a promotion that provides a free wireless charger for all new activations of the handset. [MobileSyrup]
  • Sprint has completed implementation of its bill-shock alert system, which is ahead of the April 17th mandate. [Sprint]
  • Sprint has expanded its LTE network to include Altoona, Pa., Asheville, N.C., Columbus, Ind., Elkhart/Goshen, Ind., Hammond, La., La Crosse, Wis., San Juan, Puerto Rico, Statesville, N.C., and Temple, Texas. [Sprint]
  • Verizon Wireless has expanded its LTE network to include the village of Margaretville, N.Y. [Verizon Wireless]
  • ATT has expanded its LTE network to include Brunswick and Savannah, Ga., Evansville, Ind., Henderson, Ky., Madison, Wis., and Juneau, Alaska. [ATT 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Must-read mobile stories

[Crying child photo credit: storyvillegirl / Flickr]

[Mobile Miscellany photo credit: Thristian / Flickr]

Article source:

The astoundingly cheesy iPhone app launch from Domino’s

Cheese topping on that cheese?

Domino’s Japan/YouTube; screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)

In the world of “so bad, it’s good,” this may well qualify as bad. Or good.

It’s Domino’s Pizza selling a new
iTunes app in Japan. Because if there’s one thing pizza needs, it’s an iPhone app.

Domino’s wants you to know that no expense was spared in the creation of this app. So it wasn’t going to sink to using Brad Pitt, Jack Nicholson, or Leonardo DiCaprio to sell it.

No, it was going to employ that versatile performer Scott Oellkers. Should you have been unaccountably held up in North Korea playing basketball, Oellkers is the president of Domino’s Japan.

I am grateful to Gawker for having spotted this work of art, one that Gawker claims it found mesmerizing.

car crashes, tornadoes, and “Real Housewives of Atlanta” can be mesmerizing too.

Here we have Oellkers behaving as if Mad Men still sit in ad agencies, smoking, drinking, and hanging themselves on the back of their office doors.

The way he offers that the Hatsune Miku iPhone app was made in conjunction with the nice people who heat up your pizza makes you believe that corporations really are wonderful places.

Then there are the close-ups of Oellker’s eyes and his wild, wild eyebrows.

But it’s when he pulls his iPhone out of his breast pocket and turns to camera that, I believe, the whole of Japan freezes in wonder. (I have frozen the shot above.)

How often do you have to practice to produce an expression that can only remind one of the fulsome dollops of cheese on many Domino’s pizzas?

“Once your pizza’s delivered, have some fun with Miku,” he says with a grin that exists somewhere between that of a priest and a pimp.

I am sure there are cultural nuances that are not immediately evident to the lay viewer.

But lay down I must, after viewing this extraordinary slice of (corporate) life.

Article source:

3-pointer: Dirk says Mavs ‘got lucky’

The Mavericks are in no position to worry about style points with their wins.

But they also can’t afford to ignore glaring mistakes.

So while Dirk Nowitzki was pleased to escape Detroit with a 102-99 win after the Mavs blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, he expressed concern about Dallas’ defensive gaffes in the final nine minutes. He was especially alarmed about Detroit’s Charlie Villanueva getting a wide-open corner 3 on the final possession that could have sent the game into overtime.

“At least we were good enough down the stretch to win it, but we got lucky,” Nowitzki told reporters. “Villanueva was so wide open. We blew another coverage. I think we were switching that and one guy didn’t switch. Wide-open shot in the corner – he’ll probably make nine of 10 of those. We got lucky there.”

The bright side is that the Mavs managed to pull out a close win for the second straight game. They’ve had more than their share of tight losses this season, so Nowitzki felt a sense of relief after he knocked down a couple of midrange jumpers in the last two minutes to give the Mavs the lead for good.

“At least we’re winning some of those,” Nowitzki said. “I think two months ago, we would have even lost this one. At least this turned a little bit and we found a way to win it.”

Added Vince Carter: “A win is a win. It’s not about right now how pretty or how ugly they may be. It’s just as long as we get victories.”

A few more notes from the Mavs’ sigh-inducing W:

1. Marion iffy for Minnesota: Shawn Marion will probably be listed as questionable for Sunday’s game in Minnesota after sitting out Friday night’s win due to a bruised left calf.

“He’ll be day-to-day,” coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. “We don’t consider it serious, but we don’t want guys going out there that aren’t 100 percent. That’s not the right thing to do. … We need Shawn back when he can get back.”

Rookie Jae Crowder struggled after replacing Marion in the starting lineup, finishing with two points and no rebounds in 26 minutes. Crowder did have five assists, but the Mavs were outscored by 16 points with him on the floor.

Brandan Wright, on the other hand, took advantage of some minutes opened up by Marion’s absence. Wright, who got rare playing time at power forward with the second unit, had 14 points on 7-of-10 shooting, six rebounds and three blocks in 19 minutes.

2. Big 0 for Mayo: O.J. Mayo had no turnovers for the third consecutive game, the first time he’s done that in his five-year career.

Mayo followed up his 13-point, 12-assist performance in Wednesday’s win over Houston by leading the Mavs with 22 points against the Pistons.

“It feels like the game is slowing down for him,” Nowitzki said. “He’s making the right decisions.”

3. Dirk dinged: Nowitzki wore a padded sleeve on his left arm as protection after coming down with a sudden case of elbow tendinits.

Not that he’s too concerned about the ailment.

“I could barely move it yesterday, but it was fine today,” Nowitzki told reporters after his 12-point, seven-rebound outing. “It’s my left hand and I don’t use my left hand very much anyway, so it’s fine.”

Article source:

%d bloggers like this: