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February 2, 2009

Pacifier

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By Thomas Keeley.

February 2, 2009 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Geek Gloves

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100% polyester work gloves with acrylic resin grips.

"Useful for protecting your hands and improving your grip when doing chores, gardening, driving or playing sports."

Labeled with approximate finger lengths so you'll know how much you cut off when you hit the ER.

$25 CAD.

[via OhGizmo and FashionablyGeek]

February 2, 2009 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The $20 laptop — Nick Negroponte's $100 iteration is so over

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Not to mention Apple's latest MacBook Pro (above, in 24kt gold), which runs $2,000 and up.

Way up, if you want the luxe gold iteration.

But I digress.

Long story by James Lamont in today's Financial Times short: "India's Sakshat laptop is intended to boost distance learning to help India fulfil its overwhelming educational needs."

More: "R.P. Agrawal, secretary of secondary and higher education, said last week that the cost of the laptop was about $20 a unit, but he expected that to fall. He also said he expected the units to be commercially available in six months."

I'll take two.

Here's the FT article.
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India to follow $2,000 car with $20 laptop

India is planning to produce a laptop computer for the knockdown price of about $20, having come up with the Tata Nano, the world's cheapest car at Rs100,000 ($2,050) a vehicle.

The project, backed by New Delhi, would considerably undercut the so-called "$100 laptop", otherwise known as the Children's Machine or XO, which was designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of the US.

That laptop is the centrepiece of the One Laptop Per Child charity initiative launched by Nicholas Negroponte, the computer scientist and former director of MIT's Media Lab. Intel launched a similar product, called Classmate, in response. But the Children's Machine received a cool reception in India.

India's $20 laptop would also undercut the EeePC, made by Taiwan's Asustek. The EeePC was the first ultra-cheap, scaled-down laptop (a new category known as a netbook) launched worldwide through commercial channels. It has no hard drive and sells for $200-$400.

India's "Sakshat" laptop is intended to boost distance learning to help India fulfil its overwhelming educational needs. It forms part of a broader plan to improve e-learning at more than 18,000 colleges and 400 universities. However, some analysts are sceptical that a $20 laptop would be commercially sustainable and the project has yet to attract a commercial partner.

A prototype will go on show at a National Mission on Education launch in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, tomorrow. Pioneered in India by scientists at the Vellore Institute of Technology, the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras and at the state-controlled Semiconductor Complex, the laptop has 2Gb Ram capacity and wireless connectivity.

R.P. Agrawal, secretary of secondary and higher education, said last week that the cost of the laptop was about $20 a unit, but he expected that to fall. He also said he expected the units to be commercially available in six months.

India faces the huge challenge of finding ways to equip its large population, more than 550m of whom are under the age of 25, with contemporary skills. It needs to sustain high economic growth and spread development across the country.

Over the next six years, by some estimates, India will need to create another 1,500 universities. Educational institutions in the UK and US are lining up to become partners to help with this huge projected tertiary-level expansion.

Pressure is building on the government to permit foreign investment into the sector and use public-private partnerships to meet some of the demand. Leading universities across the world, such as Kellogg School of Management in the US and Imperial College in the UK, are exploring different models, including faculty partnerships, distance learning and setting up campuses.

But the government appears to favour turning to technology ahead of international partnerships to bring people into higher education.

February 2, 2009 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hip-Hop Glasses

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See, they're egg-shaped, and Easter's coming....

Oh, never mind.

In any event,

so me.

$4.99.

February 2, 2009 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Helpful Hints from joeeze: Pitted v Unpitted Olives — Which Are Better?

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Long answer short: Unpitted.

Here's what Cook's Illustrated's "Notes from Readers" feature in the latest issue (March/April 2009) had to say on the subject.

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Q. Are there any differences in flavor or texture among pitted and unpitted brine-cured olives?

A. To evaluate any differences between pitted and unpitted olives, we gathered both green and black brine-cured olives from deli sections at supermarkets, as well as olives packed in plastic and glass containers.

After tasting many samples, it became clear that the pitted olives suffered on two counts: they tasted saltier and their flesh was mushier. They also lacked the complex, fruity flavors of the unpitted kind.

Here's why: Before being packed for sale, fresh-picked olives are soaked in brine for periods of up to a year to remove bitterness and develop flavor. Once pitted, the olives are returned to the brine for packing, which can penetrate the inside of the olive and turn it mushy and pasty, as well as increase the absorption of salt.

That saltier taste can mask subtler flavors. If you have the time, it makes sense to buy unpitted olives and pit them yourself.

•••••••••••••••••••••

Well, Cook's Illustrated has taken you to the place where you can see the Promised Land — now what?

1. The best widely available brand of pre-packed olives in the U.S. is Peleponnese (top). I'm able to find five different varieties — Amfissa, Cracked, Kalamata, Ionian and Country (bonus: all unpitted) — at my local Harris Teeter.

2.featured an olive pitter back in 2007.

3. Don't want to spend the money for another idiotstick kitchen tool? I can see how you'd feel that way. Try this simple hack.

February 2, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Connect-A-Desk — World's first wearable laptop workstation

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Color me so excited I can barely stay on the treadmill and type straight.

Because with this puppy the world is my treadmill.

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Bag that oyster stuff.

But I digress.

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I ordered mineyoctosecond after it appeared in an incoming from reader drbarkingdog, who found on it on gordonkeith.com.

Arf!

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Long story short: Strap it on and off you go.

Not there.

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Yes — it'll work just fine as a portable lunch tray when you're not computing.

I'd advise shutting your laptop first.

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Maybe even putting it somewhere else while you enjoy your dining experience.

I'm just saying, is all.

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$38.99 (laptop — and lunch — not included).

Oh, yeah, one last thing.

I hereby invent Paradeblogging©™®.

You saw it here first.

What's Paradeblogging?

It's when a doughty band of joeheads — or any group, similarly brain-dead or not — decides to strap on their Connect-A-Desks and march in formation, blogging all the while while Skyping out, emailing and whatever else people do with their computers.

Watch for it.

February 2, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

CharlottesvilleStockPhotography.com

Charlottesville View

Charlottesville-based New York Times photographer Andrew Shurtleff is the majordomo and grand panjandrum of this new website, featuring all manner of photos of my Podunk town and surrounding countryside (above).

From the website: "We'd like to invite you to become a contributor to Charlottesville Stock Photography. CSP offers local photographers a new venue to distribute their images to area photo buyers. We take care of the research, marketing, promotions and sales, leaving you free to do what you best: create new images. CSP uses industry-standard pricing and provides quarterly reports to its contributing photographers. The site gives you the opportunity to make sales from your current photo stock and give new life to your archived images."

I wonder if they'd be interested in some of the sensational shots of my treadmill workspace featured here over the years.

If you can't make it to Charlottesville physically, a hejira to the center of the bookofjoe metaverse, this photography site's the next best thing.

Mention my name and Andrew will burst out laughing hysterically.

On second thought, perhaps it's best to pretend you never heard of me.

February 2, 2009 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Waiter, there's a shark in my tea

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The Sharky Tea Infuser

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was designed

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by Pablo Matteoda

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of Argentina.

[via designboom, 71grados and noquedanblogs]

February 2, 2009 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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