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The Skysphere

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A Futuristic Treehouse Controlled Via Smart Phone

Jono Williams, who designed and built The Skysphere in Linton, New Zealand,  calls it 'not the ordinary treehouse'. It not only features a 360-degree window, but can be set up virtually anywhere. Its main characteristic is the futuristic- shape of the 33-foot tall tower and includes cool features such as: a fingerprint entry motorized door, high-speed internet, a rooftop stargazing......read more

Kids Leading the Climate Change Battle

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Kids are taking the baton and the megaphone around climate change.

At SHFT, we think about the world we're handing to the next generation a lot. Our non-profit, SHFT Mobile Kitchen Classroom in partnership with Stone Barns has a mission to educate kids around myriad food issues, nutrition and how to prepare their own healthful meals.  We find that today's youth understands the challenges they will be facing in their role as future-stewards of the planet.......read more

Invention Harvests Electricity from Background Radiation

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Device could be used to beam power to remote locations or recharge phones wirelessly

Engineers at Duke University have designed a gadget that captures background radiation and converts it to useable electricity. Operating on the same principle as solar panels that capture light energy, the "metamaterial cells" can harvest microwaves with an efficiency of 36.8 percent -- the same efficiency as modern solar cells. The Daily Mail reports: The development raises exciting......read more

MeterPlug Measures Home Energy Use

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New Bluetooth monitoring device tracks power usage and sends the stats to your smartphone

We can't predict the future, but this much is certain: energy costs will keep rising. So it's increasingly important that we find ways to bring those costs -- and home energy emissions -- down. Here is the slickest device we've seen for measuring electricity use from home appliances. Plugged between any appliance and an AC outlet, MeterPlug uses your handset's GPS to find local electricity rates,......read more

Muted Beauty: iPhone Photos by Josh Leonard

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The American actor shows off a few of his Instagram hits

I kinda wish everything looked the way a Joan Didion novel makes me feel: beauty in the banal, meaning in existential plight, love in loneliness and poetry everywhere. All with an equalizing veneer of burnt light.I travel for work a bunch. I'm up both early and late, depending on the demands of the job. I take snapshots on my iPhone and share them with friends through Instagram. Here are a......read more

Lapka: An Environmental Monitor for Your iPhone

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Sensory system measures eco factors like bacteria, radiation and EMF

iPhone accessories rarely aim too high in terms of functionality. They generally fall into one of two categories: speakers or protective cases.  But Lapka takes the game to a whole other level. Billed as a "personal environmental monitor," the device connects through a headphone jack to measure, collect and analyze data about substances within a user's environment. Each peripheral......read more

T-Shirt Converts Sound to Electricity

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Cell phone-charging T-shirt tech to debut at the Glastonbury Festival.

The Sound Charge may look like an ordinary T-shirt, but it contains some seriously next-level energy tech within. The ingenious invention, borne of the simple observation that people at loud concerts tend to wear T-shirts, contains technology that converts sound waves into electrical energy. A collaboration between global telecom giant Orange and the renewable energy experts at Got Wind, the......read more

Bees Bummed About Cell Phones

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Signals from mobile phones may be partly to blame for mysterious decline of bee populations around the world

Bee populations around the world are in massive decline, with scientists blaming it on a lack of genetic diversity, urbanization, and increased pesticide use. Now, Swiss scientists have discovered a surprising new culprit that doesn't seem so nefarious from here: our cell phones. The researchers conducted 83 different experiments in which cell phones were placed inside bee hives, and the bees'......read more

SHFT Sampler 11-12-10

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Weekly links: Pimped-out bikes, phone book sculptures, and a renewed push for offshore drilling in the Arctic.

Freewheelers is a series of video portraits of tricked-out bikes and the people who ride them – from self-build fixies and coveted vintage steeds to bikes as art or manifestations of style. Two bipartisan senators have proposed a sensible idea that most people are going to hate. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) wrote to President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal......read more

Greener Gadgets Winners Announced

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First place goes to local food-promoting smartphone app.

The results of this year's Greener Gadgets design competition were announced Friday in New York. And while according to Treehugger neither the judges nor the audience were roundly impressed with the entries, there were some pretty cool ideas on the shortlist. The defining concept of the conference was that we need is not more stuff, but innovations that make stuff we already have help us......read more

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