New Wool Blend Shirt Could be the Last Shirt You Ever Need

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A question for you. Why would someone wear a shirt for a 100 days straight?

There are several answers of course. You really like that shirt, it’s a harbinger of good luck, you’re really broke, you’re…umm…trying to win some sort of bet, and of course many others.

Whatever your reason may be though, it is ultimately irrelevant as of course even the sturdiest of shirts need to be dried, ironed, and generally maintained in order to preserve their quality, meaning that the shirt of a 100 straight wears is in fact just a pipe dream.

There is one upstart designer, though, by the name of Wool&Prince that insists that isn’t true. What’s more is that they aren’t relying on some space age material or microchip to accomplish it either, but are rather using a simple wool blend to craft a shirt that can be worn for a 100 days straight, without generating a single wrinkle, or producing one bad odor. Also, unlike your typical wool sweater, the material is apparently very high quality and actually comfortable to wear.

While the 100 day wear spree may be a gimmick, it is one that proves the more interesting point that this is a durable shirt that can survive conditions both common and extraordinary and come out the other side in fresh from the dryer quality, with no more upkeep required than the occasional wash. While certain individuals like the business man on the go benefit most from this shirt then, it’s hard to imagine there isn’t a guy who wouldn’t like to have that one favorite shirt that just happens to be near invincible.

Of course the point is that you won’t have to imagine any longer. The makers of the shirt Wool&Prince have already earned $300,000+ of their asking $30,000 goal, meaning it’s just a matter of time until you can own a shirt that’s Clark Kent sensible on the outside, and Superman durable within.

Bladeless Ceiling Fan To Redefine Home Comfort

The Nest may be cornering the market on the future of central air conditioning, but even with such a great innovation, there will always be room for the classic ceiling fan set up. It’s not only the preference of many home owners, but still the necessity in some regions when it comes to cooling down a room. Yet unlike central air’s revolution with the Nest, the ceiling fan has not really had the privilege of new age influence creating a fresh design.

Until the bladeless fan from Exhale Fans that is. Supposedly inspired by the works of Nikola Tesla, the bladeless ceiling fan works much in the same manner as a tradition fan, as it redistributes the existing air in a room and converts it to a cooling flow. The difference is that it’s more discreet, more stylish (available in several colors in fact), extremely quiet, cheaper, and most importantly can provide cool (or warm depending on the need) air evenly throughout a room instead of in select spots like the usual ceiling fan. A great example of this can be found in the demonstration video that shows the fan’s capabilities of complete air flow coverage with the help of a smoke machine.

If you’d like to support the bladeless fan…you’re too late. It’s already achieved its funding goal on the site indiegogo, and will soon go into production and be available via the manufacturer’s website. Should you buy it when available then? Well, it’s not often that you see a device which can improve upon the classic design of a necessary object, and vastly improve the functionality of it as well, so unless you’re aiming for a classic Havana kingpin inspired design for your home, it’s hard not to recommend jumping on the biggest improvement to come to the ceiling fan since…well the ceiling fan.

We May Soon Have a Cure-All For the Burnt Tongue

Along with the dreaded stubbed toe, and the fierce paper cut (which thanks to technology, future generations may never have to know), a burnt tongue is one of the more annoying every day pains you can suffer.

The only problem is, even though the pain lasts all day and ranges from incredibly annoying to genuinely painful, you can never really let anyone know your discomfort without anyone questioning your toughness. At best, you’ll find a gentle soul to oblige you with a comforting “I hate when that happens”, but you’ll find little more sympathy than that to soothe your pain and even less in the way of actual relief.

Researchers at the University of Texas are hoping to change all that as they are working on a dissolvable strip similar to the ones used for bad breath that will cure the common liquid beverage burn in your mouth. The strip uses a benzocaine that numbs the pain in your mouth, and also helps the affected area to heal faster.  The strip is supposed to very discrete, and comfortable, although it is not ready yet as scientists are preparing for human tests, with the biggest objectives still remaining being making the strips usable on more severe burns, and figuring out a way to make the taste pleasant.

Regardless of when they come out, it’s about time someone figured out a solution to a problem that dates back all the way to food being hot, and people being impatient. No longer relegated to grandmother cures like honey, sugar, or ice cream (why do grandmas want to fatten us?) for the burnt mouth, we could be staring a future where you are free to recklessly drink your coffee right away, or attack a bowl of soup like a maniacal homeless man without consequence.

This Chinese Robot Army Isn’t Quite What I Was Expecting

They say the art of making authentic Chinese noodles from scratch is nearly extinct. If you watch this video from “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” of one of the few people left who can truly do it (it starts at about the 2:18 mark), you’ll understand why.

Much like many other aspects of the ever expanding nation though, rather than lament or dwell upon what was, they are instead moving forward with incredible speed and extreme ferocity. How does one do that in something like the noodle making industry? Why robots of course.

That’s a noodle making robot that frighteningly resembles Ultraman. Now while they can’t make the noodles from scratch (yet) what they can do is slice the noodles with an accuracy and quickness that allegedly outstrips the average human chef capabilities.  They’re cheaper than the average chef as well, with the figure being tossed around that a cook costs $4,700 a year while one of these robots will only set you back $2,000.

But surely no one is going for this right? Replacing trained chefs with machines that can only act in a limited capability? Well in case you haven’t been paying attention to world industry the last several decades, of course they are. Since manufacturing has started in 2011, 3,000 of these machines have already been sold, and more are in production.

These robots are obviously pretty far away, technologically speaking, from completely replacing chefs, but the fact that they are taking jobs at any level right now is pretty incredible. Ignoring the gross moral questions that replacing humans with robots in these positions raises, you also have to consider that if this trend takes off in full, the restaurant industry will suffer long term for it. It takes years of hard work for chefs to become great, or even good, and this prevents entry level cooks from gaining the practical experience needed to start that path. In certain parts of Japan, if you want to cook sushi, you must first cook nothing but rice for years and years before you are even allowed to touch a fish. It’s not the point a machine could make the rice better, the rather that the chef must gain the necessary appreciation and technique of one of the most base and essential parts of the meal before moving on the part of the star making part of the dish.

Oh, and by the way, giving a robot glowing pulsating yellow eyes, a furrowed brow, and a knife under any circumstances is not cool. In fact, that whole design seems excessive for a machine that’s only function is supposedly to shave noodles. Are we really supposed to believe that’s this things only purpose?

Yeah, and the “Chopping Mall” robot just flips pizzas

Google’s New Service Looks to Make Mobile E-mail Widely Available

Of all the evil, soulless, money grubbing corporations that ultimately run the world, I’ve got to say that Google consistently finds itself coming off as the most pleasant. Between their exceptional employee benefits, and those awesome Google Doodles, they really do seem like the simple global power next door types.

In their latest move of philanthropy, Google is now offering cell phone users in Africa a service called Gmail SMS. This will allow users without high tech cell phones, or conveniences like WiFi hotspots or 3G capabilities, to send and receive Gmail messages through a phone’s basic text messaging service. The e-mail service is free of charge, and the only incurred fees are tied into a plans standard text messaging rates.

This may not seem like a big deal to most, but it’s a simple gesture that could mean a lot to cell users in certain underdeveloped parts of the world. The technology to do something like this isn’t exactly mind blowing, but for Google to consider that maybe people who can’t afford hundreds of dollars for a phone, and/or may not have any widespread internet services available, might just enjoy actually having a modern convenience now and again is the kind of move that should make similar service providers take notice, bite their pride, and start to offer the service themselves if possible.

Currently the service is available in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria, but it looks like the ambition is to offer Gmail SMS to as many markets as possible. Considering the large number of cell phone users in Africa, for those in underdeveloped parts of the continent (and similar areas of the world), the expansion surely can’t come soon enough.

Recipe for Innovation – ZipList Mixed Lightly with Pinterest

I have an odd affection for Pinterest. While I tend to ignore other social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare for regular surfing, I can’t help but love the concept, design and user involvement of the site, and it always feels like every time I visit, I’m really finding something that catches my interest, even if it is just for a moment.

Of the various topic boards on Pinterest, the most continually interesting one has to be the food board. There’s a term out there called “food porn,” and it’s used when there is food that looks so good, and is so appealing to the eyes, that it causes a rush of endorphins that is the equivalent to looking at pornography. Well, the Pinterest food board is basically a hardcore food porn website, as pinners use it to find and share the best looking food on the web. If you’re smart, you’ll also learn to take advantage of the ability to click on the tantalizing food photos and get the recipe from the source site.

And now, thanks to the handy recipe-saving program ZipList’s new Pinterest-friendly features, you have even fewer reasons not to go recipe cruising on Pinterest. It’s as simple as this: You download the ZipList program and drag the “clip it” feature button to your bookmark toolbar. Then, you just find a tantalizing food image on Pinterest like this:

And you click the clip it button to bring up a screen that turns the image into an ingredient list like this:

From there, you can use the site’s mobile app to bring up your saved ingredient list while you’re at the store, so you can shop for exactly what you need to make the recipe. There’s even a notes feature, in case you want to write down the full step by step recipe for future reference.

The word from Pinterest is that 70% of users say that recipes are their most pinned topic. It’s no surprise, either, as the food industry is booming to the point that it’s being compared in some circles to the rock and roll revolution of the ’60s. So now is a great time to turn your solo food porn adventures into some hot, sweaty kitchen action as you use this program to help you take the bold step into the world of cooking for yourself.

Amazon Looking to Rekindle the Tablet Wars with the Kindle Fire 2

It’s looking more and more like the launch of the Google Nexus 7 tablet is just the start of a firestorm about to hit the affordable tablet market. Appropriately then, Amazon is looking to jump back into the fray by fighting that fire with one of their own.

According to rumors first started by a report in the China Times, Amazon is looking to start production early on the Kindle Fire 2, possibly aiming for a release as soon as this summer. While details are sparse on the upgraded Fire, the word is that Amazon’s Taiwan partner Quanta has received the go ahead to start production on what could possibly be a few different models of the Fire. While all of the models are currently being predicted to retain the original Fire’s 7-inch screen (with the base model retaining the $199 price point), most likely the different units will feature increasingly larger storage capacities and work off an increasing pricing structure similar to the  Nexus 7. There’s even word going around that the most expensive unit of the three will include a built-in camera and 4G capabilities. It’s also hard to imagine that even the base model of the new Fire won’t include a faster processor, better screen resolution, and a longer battery life if it looks to keep up with the standard Nexus 7.

I know a few people that own the original Kindle Fire, and the general consensus that you get from them is that “it does what I need it to do,” That’s a far cry from the original mission statement of the Fire when it was still marketing itself as a rival to the iPad at a much cheaper price. Since then, the smaller, cheaper tablet has established a market of its own with the Kindle Fire being seen as the fore bearer, and even the front-runner, of the new line. Considering, though, that Apple, the company whose iPad helped kick off this new war, is allegedly looking to release their own smaller tablet, the big question is if Amazon would do better holding off and seeing what the industry’s giant is going to bring to the table first before jumping the gun with this 2nd generation Fire. Otherwise, the novelty and name power they launched the Fire with in the first place may not hold up if a rushed product that is only meant to compete with the newest kid on the block eventually turns them into another face in the crowd.

The Nest… Cooler Than You

Growing up in Texas, I can tell you that many of the conceptions about the Lone Star state range from the completely false (everyone rides horses and owns guns…err…maybe just rides horses), to the begrudgingly true (for PR sake, let’s go with everyone drives pickup trucks). The one aspect of the great state of Texas that is undeniable, however, is the intense, blinding heat that they get in the summer. Anywhere from 100 to 110 is considered pretty standard, and you’re pretty much forced to deal with it as complaining about the heat is a surefire way to get a “Hot enough for ya?” out of even the most scholarly of natives.

However, from stocking up on Walmart shorts (what a deal!) to raiding the local HEB for some good ole Blue Bell Ice Cream (sorry, getting nostalgic here), every Texan still desperately looks for ways to try to beat the heat. The most popular answer to this question has long been a good central AC unit, because as they said in “Dogma”:

Yet since my time back home, the one innovation in this field I seemed to miss out on is The Nest. Developed by the ex-senior vice president in charge of the iPod group, Tony Fadell, and former iPod software engineer Matt Rogers, the Nest is a smart thermometer that is capable of learning your heating and cooling needs while providing input on when you are able to save on energy costs via a handy leaf icon that lets you know when you are at an optimal setting. You can also use your smartphone or computer to change the temperature setting while you’re away to adjust for inclimate weather, and also view a readout of your energy settings to learn how your settings effects your energy bill and how you can modify it accordingly to save in the future. And of course, since it was developed by former Apple employees, it’s incredibly sleek. Its look is straight out of a sci-fi movie and has the appearance of the kind of invention a James Bond villain would use to cool down his volcano lair.

The design of The Nest isn’t just for eye candy, but rather is meant to alert you to the fact that while other lesser thermostats may have similar features, the Nest really is the complete package. Texas-based energy company Reliant Energy has apparently realized this also as they recently announced their plans to stock the Nest thermostat and offer it to anyone who signs up for the Reliant Learn and Conserve Two-Year Plan.

While The Nest is available at Lowes, Home Depot, Apple stores and Amazon, there’s no denying the major boost that a direct partnership with one of the nation’s leading energy companies can have for the company, especially one that’s based in one of the most prime markets for central air units.

Also, the fact is that the more you see of The Nest, the more you realize you need one. Sure, it’s another accessory that’s bringing us closer to the Cyberdyne world of machines running everything, but with glowing reviews from publications like The Wall Street Journal (“Suddenly, I can’t imagine my home without a Nest”), to CNET (“The thermostat of the future can restart an industry”), I’ll accept my fate at the hands of technological overlords as long as my last days are spent at an intelligent (and cost-cutting) level of temperate comfort.

The World of Technology is Really Scaring Me Today….

Are you like me and would love to wake up even earlier in the morning just to go nearly kill yourself by running a few miles, and have to come back in a hurry so you can spend the rest of the day at work, but just can’t find a good jogging partner?Well if that’s your excuse (and believe me, it is a great one) then I’ve got bad news. The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology is working on a flying  robot that can be programmed to keep pace with you and become your morning jog companion.

The Joggobot (those wacky Australians…) can be programmed via a smartphone app for pace and height settings, and then uses a built in camera to follow a marker worn by the jogger in order to constantly stay ahead of you. The device is meant to be a motivator to runners, and give them something to chase after and run with.

Is anyone else frightened by this invention? It reminds me of that villian’s machine from “The Incredibles” that could learn from all the heroes it defeated in order to become stronger for the next wave. Not to mention its basic design is essentially a machine that you are supposed to run from. I was convinced this would be the scariest bit of robotic propeller jet technology I would find today, but I was dead wrong.

Yes that’s a flying cat. Depending on the type of person you are, that image either causes you to laugh or shriek in horror at the danger that device poses to the poor kitten. But if you knew the full story, you’d understand that the only option is to scream in terror and run far away from your computer. Because that isn’t just a flying cat. It’s a flying dead cat.

It’s called the Orvillecopter and was created by a Dutch artist named Bart Jansen. When his beloved cat Orville died, Bart was so stricken with grief that he attached propellers to each of the cats paws and made it into a copter so that it would stand as a tribute to the person it was named after, flight pioneer Orville Wright.

Maybe we should just be thankful we didn’t get to see the invention Bart would have come up with if it was named after snack pioneer, Orville Redenbacher.

So yes, I admit that between training robots to match, map, and surpass human athleticism, and people turning their once loved pets into aeronautic exhibitions, today’s tech news is starting to scare me a bit. In fact, the whole ordeal of today’s news makes me yearn for a simple classic evening. You know, one where I can just retire to my quaint zombie proof home.

And of course eventually find myself tucked away into my comfy, classic, self making bed.

You know, the simple things.

Can Facebook’s Buffy “Stake” Its Claim In The Smartphone Market?

I swear, that’s my last bad “Buffy” pun.

Various news outlets from The New York Times to the BBC are reporting that Facebook is reconsidering an entry into the smartphone market.

For some time now, the social media giant has teased the idea of launching a phone of their own. However, early reports indicated that the project started and stopped several times until it was ultimately determined that the actual complete process of making a phone from concept to manufacturing was harder than anticipated, and the idea was scrapped.

Now though the project seems to be back in earnest. Codenamed “Buffy” (which is odd considering Buffy was a TV character that slayed things that were better off left dead), the smartphone’s hardware is reportedly going to be worked on by HTC Corp, while Facebook will internally handle the software development, which could include an independent operating system. To help get the phone out by its alleged 2013 target date, reports are that Facebook is looking for former Apple and other high end smartphone developers to add to the team, of which they may have already hired almost half a dozen.

Everything revealed so far has suggested that Facebook is taking this project very seriously. The word around the company is that Mark Zuckerberg is worried that if Facebook doesn’t make a play to start its own phone service, that it will become just another mobile app and get lost in the shuffle of the new world order of smartphone superiority. Not to mention that Facebook could lose out on advertising revenue if it starts being accessed primarily through a third party device.

Facebook still carries a lot of name value, and its internal app market could potentially be very popular if kept exclusive to its new phone, but I still think this sound like a case of overreaching. If the initial conclusion was that smartphone development was going to be too complex just a year ago, I don’t know what could have changed their minds in the meantime. Well, besides that slightly embarrassing public offering fiasco of course.  But if this is all an effort to extend Facebook’s reach enough for them to wipe some egg off of their face, things could turn ugly.