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Online library of green building materials

Add / Remove For architects and industrial designers, finding sustainable materials to use in building projects has long been a challenge, with providers and information scattered all across the web. Ecolect, which just launched last fall, aims to provide a single, central library of sustainable materials that makes it easier for designers to be “green.” […]

Books for free by podcast

Add / Remove Given the lifestyle changes wrought by electronic media, it’s no surprise that book publishers have begun experimenting with new ways to publish their works. We’ve recently looked at efforts to sell books in bite-size chunks as downloads or via e-mail and RSS, but many have also become available as free podcasts via […]

Nike: made from scraps

Add / Remove Back in 2006, Nike generated copious amounts of street cred with techies when it partnered with Apple and released its Nike + iPod Sport Kit, which allowS gadget-loving runners to synch their iPods via a special sensor placed inside their Nike shoes. Now, the US athletic shoe manufacturer seems determined to win […]

Crowdsourcing platform

Add / Remove By offering a set of sophisticated project management tools, Kluster aims to enable crowds to develop new concepts. The system is currently being demonstrated at the TED conference in Monterey, where the event’s attendees will be able to work together to create a product prototype in 72 hours. (Rapid prototyping machines and […]

Bank helps clients buy homes that aren’t for sale

Add / Remove Aiming to invigorate a stagnating housing market, Dutch ING Bank is helping potential buyers bid on houses that aren’t yet for sale. The bank’s WoonWaarUWilt (“LiveWhereYouWant”) initiative, which launched yesterday, lets clients make an offer on the house they’d love to own. ING is partnering with online real estate firm iBlue. After […]

Advanced route planning for pedestrians

Add / Remove As the environmental consequences of driving cars become ever more clear, consumers are increasingly aware of the benefits of alternative modes of transportation. Walkit is a website that promotes the power of walking as a healthier way to get around. Walkit’s goal is to help consumers make more informed decisions about whether […]

New phone company, made in Silicon Valley

Add / Remove Start-up phone provider Ribbit aims to offer solutions to questions like: “Why can’t I forward voice messages like I can my email?” or “Why doesn’t my phone ring in my browser?” Ribbit, which is still in beta testing phase and set to launch in the coming months, is headed up by Silicon […]

Ad-supported navigation

Add / Remove Companies including the likes of Google have long touted the potential of GPS-based advertising, and that promise recently came a step closer with a new, ad-supported GPS device from adNav. adNav’s Boomerang is an ad-supported mobile concierge system with built-in GPS navigation that’s currently targeted at hotels, airlines and car rental agencies […]

Crowdf(o)unding an eco clothing brand — Update

Add / Remove Early last month, when we first wrote about nvohk—an eco-friendly, surf-inspired clothing manufacturer—we noted it was a good example of a crowd-funded business model. Hoping to build a brand from scratch, the Los Angeles-based company launched a drive to recruit 5,000 “owner managers” who will each contribute USD 50 annually. In exchange […]

DIY wine blending kit

Add / Remove Dedicated readers may recall Crushpad, an urban winery we’ve already discussed on two separate occasions, and now the busy vintners there have given us reason to cover them yet again. Just before the holidays Crushpad introduced fusebox, a wine blending kit that lets users experience the wine-making process at home. Crushpad’s 15-pound […]

Pricing transparency for grocery stores

Add / Remove One of the big advantages supermarkets have long had over consumers lies in the sheer number of products they offer—with some priced higher and others priced lower than the competition, it’s near impossible to say that one store offers consistently better (or worse) deals every time. Well, supermarkets, those protected days may […]

Royalty-free written content

Add / Remove There’s no doubt content is king in today’s world of new media; what’s less clear is how to get it. offers website owners, ad agencies and others an affordable way to buy the full rights to original, relevant and professionally written content for their sites. Back in 2006 we wrote about […]

Toy rental service

Add / Remove Every parent of young children has an unwanted-toy graveyard somewhere in the home. Today’s prized playthings inevitably become tomorrow’s cast-offs, ready to be given away, discarded or boxed up in the garage. The alternative, offered by Texas start-up Babyplays, is to receive four to six toys by mail each month. Parents can […]

YouTube meets Monster

Add / Remove Thanks to YouTube, web surfers throughout the world have grown comfortable posting and watching online videos. So it’s no surprise to see niche sites pop up with videos focused on specialized topics. Last June we wrote about RealPeopleRealStuff, a just-launched video classified ad site that challenged users to create and star in […]

Upscale smoothie bar offers non-alcoholic alternative to cocktail lounge

Add / Remove Consumers can buy blended fruit concoctions at just about any shopping mall or airport. But a Malaysian chain called Dessert’s Bar adds a twist by serving them up in a sophisticated cocktail lounge atmosphere. The menu at Dessert’s Bar is an unabashed homage to fruit, including items such as smoothies, sorbets, fruit […]

More mobile free love

Add / Remove Last year we covered Blyk, which offers select users of its mobile phone service free minutes in exchange for viewing targeted ads. A new Belgian player is offering similar ‘free love’ by paying users cash to watch ads on their cell phones. While Blyk operates as a mobile virtual network operator and […]

Surfing on the Thames

Add / Remove Who knew? London has 60,000 surfers, according to the British Surfing Association, a fraction of the roughly half million enthusiasts throughout the UK. Up till now British surfers basically had two options: don wet suits and brave the crowds at Cornwall and other close-to-home spots or hop a flight to catch the […]

Modular mobile phone can slip into new roles

Add / Remove The lure of Apple’s iPhone notwithstanding, most cell phones today are essentially variations on the same theme. Not so modu, a tiny, modular phone that is designed to be snapped into other devices. Resembling a black and white domino, the modu is smaller than a credit card and weighs just 1.3 ounces. […]

Rest pods for weary travellers

Add / Remove We’ve already written about nap pods in New York City and airport Yotels, both of which provide a quick bit of rest for the weary. Picking up on the airport theme, Nemorelax is now rolling out cocoon-like rest modules to give airport travellers a way to decompress. Whereas Yotel’s pod-like rooms are […]