Tiny House Capsule

We enjoy watching Tiny House Hunters on HGTV, but this is even better!


The Ecocapsule is an awesome 88-feet of pod living


Haul it on a simple 4-wheel trailer and plunk it down. 


It has a solar roof and wind turbine that powers up its battery for up to 4 days.


Plus a rainwater filtration system feeds your faucets, toilet, and shower. 


There is a bed for 2 as well as a cooktop, work desk, and modest storage space. 


It’s minimalist living at it sleekest and best. 


Only $86K from Slovakia and you’re off the grid and living free.


Can’t you just see these while eggshells dotting the landscape?


When everything in the world goes to hell, these little pods could be providing sustainable living to survivors. 


All we need is some cool defense gadgets and this could work! 😉

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Happy Hanukkah

Hanukah
Happy Hanukkah everyone!


Hanukkah is the holiday of lights and miracles. 


It has special meaning for me as it was many years ago now on the first night of Hanukkah that I went on my first date with my lovely wife, Dannielle.


When I came home, I said to my parents, “This is the one!”


And so it began…


On another note, many of you are probably aware of the famous miracle of Hanukkah that in the ruins of the Jewish Temple, which had been desecrated by the Greeks more than 2,000 years ago, a single vial of oil was found, and although it would normally only last for 1 day to keep the menorah lit, instead it lasted for 8 days (the time it took to prepare a new supply).  


Apparently, the oil supply shocks of the 1970’s really weren’t that new a phenomenon after all…


Similarly, I recently saw a funny comic that said that the miracle of Hanukkah today is that the smartphone battery that normally last 1 day (or less if you use it a lot during the day) lasts for 8 days.


Clearly, the miracles of ancient times are still fresh with us in modern times as well. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Calorie Count Cookie

Fortune Cookie Calories
So we were out with family at a vegetarian Chinese restaurant. 



And at the end of the meal, of course there were fortune cookies to be had.



As someone opened the cookie, and was about to plop it in her mouth, she said, “Ah, there goes another 100 calories!”



Then I thought for a moment, and said, “wouldn’t it be great (for those of us watching our weight), if every food had an edible embedded chip and display that would flash the calorie count as you picked it up and were about to put it in your mouth. 



Rather than those esoteric calorie counts on the side of packages for G-d knows what serving sizes, you get a play-by-play count every time you reach, pick up, and are about to ingest the next big gulp.



I think having calorie counts tied to real portions and having these in your face in real time as you are eating could have a huge impact on portion size and weight control. 



It may not be sexy to see the calories in your face as you eat, but boy could it be healthy. 😉



Copyright to Andy Blumenthal



(Source Photo: Me)

Cancel Out Those Tremors

This is a wonderful new product available from Lift Labs.

It is a spoon for people that suffer from hand tremors, like those from Parkinson’s Disease.

With tremors, a person has trouble lifting the spoon to their mouth and doing it without spilling.

With Lifeware, the tremors are said to be reduced in trials by 70%!

The spoon is battery operated and it has sensors for the tremors and performs countermeasures to stabilize itself.

It does this with technology including an accelerometer and microprocessor to actively cancel out the tremor.

In the future, additional attachments are forecasted, including a folk, keyholder, and more.

The special device was made possible through a grant under the NIH Small Business Innovation Research Program.

An awesome advance for Parkinson’s patients to be more self-sufficient and live with dignity despite such a debilitating illness.

Thank you to the engineers at Life Labs (and to the NIH) for bringing this stabilization technology to those who really can benefit from it.

The Galaxy S4 Is Crap

The Galaxy S4 Is Crap

Okay, it takes a big man to admit when he’s wrong.

Reference my blog “How Apple Is Losing Its Fan” dated August 10, 2013.

After testing the Galaxy S4 for the last 5 days, I can honestly say, I was wrong!

I hate the Galaxy device, and am returning it tonight!

Despite a dearth of recent innovation from Apple, their iPhone is SO MUCH better than the Galaxy.

Do NOT listen to the stats comparing them!

The battery on the Galaxy was horrendous, and after never running out of juice on the iPhone, I got a warning message yesterday on the Galaxy that the battery was almost dead after only 8+ hours of use!

Also, syncing it up with my car system was clumsy and annoying compared to the iPhone which did it seamlessly everyday.

Even simply syncing up music, videos, and so on with iTunes required a 3rd party app to facilitate this.

Checking email was a pain as there were separate icons for Gmail and the for all other email (yahoo etc.), so this very basic feature was not consolidated.

The cheap material on the Galaxy, even with the nice case I got, made it feel like the crappy buttons would break anytime.

But most important, the integration of the Apple iPhone ecosystem is so much tighter than on the Galaxy–whereas everything on the iPhone works the first time and every time, the Galaxy is an annoying hit or miss.

Everything on the Galaxy felt to me like more clicks, more annoying messages, less intuitive interface, and like I just wanted to toss it into the trash.

When the lady said she completed my switchback over to the iPhone, I only had one thing to say–thank G-d!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

How Apple Is Losing Its Fans

How Apple Is Losing Its Fans

Without a lift, Apple is already (and unfortunately) on the way down.

IDC reports that the recent quarter global smartphone shipments show Android with an almost 80% market share compared to Apple’s flimsy 13%.

I’ve been a diehard Apple fan for years (and I still love them, but…)

Years ago, I converted all my Windows computers and even my old Android phones.

Apple was innovative, sleek, and intuitive to use.

But since Steve Jobs passed, the company has lost its mojo.

Siri was a bust and what else have they done since.

Google is leading the way with Glass for wearable technology.

Apple is disappointing its consumers, and their stock plummet from over $700 to the upper $300s (now in the mid $400’s) shows investor sentiment.

Out comes the Samsung Galaxy S4 and I am salivating–the differences from the iPhone 5 make them “almost” not comparable.

Thought I’d wait for Chanukah, but the opportunity came early and so I am now a proud owner.

A couple of days earlier, a young women on the Metro was using the Galaxy and I asked how she liked it–she said she loved it, mentioned the big screen and all the free apps, and then went on to say that her mom also just switched over from the iPhone and loves the Galaxy too.

What is it about the Galaxy?

The larger 5″ screen on the Galaxy versus 4″on the iPhone 5 is the first thing you notice–and yes, when it comes to doing email, reading news articles, or watching video, size does matter!

Also, the Galaxy has Corning Gorilla glass and a higher 2.85 resolution and 35.28% higher pixel density–so it is strong and sharp and images really come out looking like a beautiful work of art.

Also with air gesture, you can just wave your hand to navigate pages and not get fingerprints and smudges all over the screen.

The camera is another huge difference: the Galaxy is 13 megapixels compared to only 8 for the iPhone and if you like taking photos that don’t look like they came from a smartphone, this is a better way to do it.

In terms of speed, the Galaxy again outperforms the iPhone, it has 2 gigabyte of RAM versus only 1 for the iPhone and its CPU is 2.46 as fast. I was able to transfer my entire iTunes music library in just a couple of minutes.

Finally, battery power is key and the Galaxy has 1.81x what the iPhone has–which basically makes it not necessary to get a heavy and costly Mophie external battery pack for it.

While there are many features I like better on Galaxy s4, the one thing I’d recommend Samsung improve on is the body, which is a cheaper plastic compared to the iPhones aluminum, but once you have a solid case on it, it doesn’t really matter for the end user experience.

Overall, Galaxy has out-done the iPhone, and I think the venerable and cash rich Apple, without some major new technology leaps and advances in design is under very real threat.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Better A Rock Than A Pebble

Pebble is coming out with a Smartwatch that connects via wireless Bluetooth to either iPhone or Android devices.

It can be used for getting messages, including from Twitter and Facebook, as well as for caller id, music controls, GPS, and more.

And you can download more apps from the watch app store.

Pebble uses a high resolution ePaper display technology, has a vibrating motor, microprocessor, accelerometer, and the battery can run for up to 7 days.

It has been crowdfunded through Kickstarter website and has since April sold, pre-order, approximately 85,000 watches at a $115 pop.

While I like the idea of being able to get information in more convenient form factors whether as a watch, glasses (like Google is working on) or other device configuration, I think the Pebble has a way to go in terms of it’s particular design.

Honestly. the Pebble looks cheap and chincy to me. The device looks too plasticy. The colors seem more geared towards kids.

Additionally, the screen looks way too small to be very useful except for the most basic alerts, but maybe this is all to make lighter and more mobile.

I plan to wait for something a little more substantial and with a larger screen.

A ruggedized version would be especially appealing including water, shock, and dust resistant and so on.

Perhaps the crowdfunding model has worked for this smartwatch for people looking to get the latest technology or even make a fast buck, but I think a little more crowdsourcing, in terms of customer requirements and feedback, would make an even better product for all.