Green Gadgets

Nintendo’s Wii has serious game when it comes to energy use

Nintendo’s Wii has serious game when it comes to energy use When it comes to household energy hogs many people think of items that are included in the Energy Star program: ovens, dishwashers, refrigerators. However, there may be another energy hog lurking near your TV, namely your gaming console. A recent study compared the energy use of the Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s PlayStation 3 (PS3), Nintendo’s Wii and found some interesting facts.

There are a whopping sixty-three million consoles in the US alone and their power consumption does add up For all of those hours you spent shooting bad guys in Call Of Duty added to the fact that on an annual basis, game consoles in the US use as much power as the entire city of San Diego, California.

Are LED Christmas lights really greener? Maybe not

Are LED Christmas lights really greener? Maybe notMore and more energy conscious people are using light emitting diodes (LED’s) to decorate their houses and Christmas trees. Environmentalists consider LED’s a better option than traditional Christmas lighting due to their low energy usage and long life. But a recent study indicates that LED lights may not make a Christmas tree “green.”

LED’s use 90% less energy, last 40 times as long, and produce 1/25th of the heat compared to conventional incandescent lighting. They are more expensive – decorating your tree could cost an additional $40 – so it would take a few years to see a savings. But, because they burn much cooler, using LED’s also reduce the chance of a tragic holiday fire. So with all these benefits, are they really greener?

Companies set to gobble up Apple iPads; is it the right move?

Companies set to gobble up Apple iPads; is it the right move? Before the Apple iPad debuted, concerns of an illegitimate operating system surfaced, leaving many to question its relevance as a handheld device. Those with technological expertise failed to see how a glorified iPhone could make an impact in the netbook, or hybrid device, market. Quickly, upon arrival, however, as Apple products always seem to do, the Apple iPad generated not only intrigue and envy, but it also may have made believers out of the technologically savvy IT crowd.

Apple has cashed in big time on the iPad.

Barnes & Noble flashes Android 2.2 for Nook Color

Barnes & Noble flashes Android 2.2 for Nook ColorReaders looking for multi-function tablet devices that also serve as e-book readers listen up, the Barnes & Noble Nook Color is receiving Android 2.2 sometime in 2011. That may give it a fighting chance against Apple’s iPad. Android 2.2 brings with it a host of features and efficiencies missing on older versions of the operating system, which means Nook Color users can look forward to a boost in productivity and entertainment.

For starters, Froyo (Android 2.2) supports one of the world’s fastest mobile browsers, and it can support Adobe AIR and Flash. But that news is bittersweet, because not all of that functionality will trickle down to the Nook Color. Why? Because Barnes & Noble currently has no plans to support the native Android Market app. That means without hacking, a Nook Color will be missing many of the best parts about Android.

Graphene may be 200x stronger than steel, but it has a flaw

Graphene may be 200x stronger than steel, but it has a flawGraphene is exciting for a variety of reasons, from its incredible strength to its unique characteristics that lend itself to efficient energy storage and fast computer processing. While those things all still hold true, a group of scientists has discovered a flaw in graphene’s strength. That could be bittersweet news because researchers want to understand the limits of the material as they continue to explore how best to apply it.

It seems that graphene is very strong until subjected to equal pressure in all directions. That scenario creates a reaction in its atoms that results in new crystal formations. That means as scientists understand graphene now, any device or structure built from it would become much weaker if subjected that form of stress. Granted, most personal devices wouldn’t see equal pressure everywhere on their surfaces at once, but shift perspective to a military application and the concern becomes more concrete.

Tablet computer mania hits Japan with Sharp’s Galapagos

Tablet computer mania hits Japan with Sharp’s Galapagos Japan has largely stayed at the forefront of popular electronic gadgets from cell phones to MP3 players. However, the nation missed out at the initial boom of e-readers with Sony’s decision to pull out of the market in 2007. In 2010, e-readers and tablet computers like the iPad are hot items for many Japanese shoppers, so companies are responding with new offerings like Sharp’s Galapagos tablet computers.

iPad owners say adios to their newspaper subscriptions

iPad owners say adios to their newspaper subscriptions When the iPad was introduced to the world, newspaper editors salivated at the idea of putting their content on the device. The tablet computer had several advantages over e-readers such as the ability to display ads as well as multimedia content in color. That’s why it’s not shocking that many iPad owners are ditching their print based newspaper subscriptions in favor of using the iPad.

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) at the University of Missouri completed the first stages of a study to see how the iPad impacts news consumption. The majority of the 1,600 participants were male, declared themselves as early adopters, were well educated, and between the ages of 35 to 64.

Sign of the times for LCD TVs: 3D LED TVs at bargain prices

Sign of the times for LCD TVs: 3D LED TVs at bargain pricesProduct life cycles, at least products with promise, follow the same sales pattern: rise, peak, and finally fall by the wayside. It is the inevitability of consumer behavior. Develop a new idea, generate demand, create supply and watch the product as it makes its way through the parabolic curve. Once the hot commodity with aggressive growth, the LCD TV may already have reached its climax in sales, but does that mean an unsettling future for LCD and LED TV manufacturers?

According to iSuppli, LCD TV shipments are supposed to hit 31.9 million units in 2010, an alarming 1.2% less than last year. For the first time since their initial boom in 2006, LCD sales aren't making an aggressive upward move or pulling in continually stronger demand.

Products, even during the growth cycle, have periods of setbacks, but the recent report may indicate more than just a setback for LCD TVs.

Amazon laughs at Google’s eBookstore, pulls out Kindle for Web

Amazon laughs at Google’s eBookstore, pulls out Kindle for Web Amazon has been a player in the eBook reader space for a while now and its latest iteration, the Kindle 3, has a solid following. Its leadership in that space is far from certain though with Apple’s iPad tempting away some buyers and now Google just opened its eBookstore platform, which supports a smorgasbord of devices out of the box. Amazon wants to take some mindshare back and is hoping that buzz about a Kindle for the web will do just that.

Google took compatibility very seriously with its eBookstore, and claims support for the iPad, iPhone, computers, Android devices, Nooks and Sony devices. Of course the notable device missing from that lineup is Amazon’s Kindle 3, which also happens to sport a screen that’s the easiest on human eyes because it emulates paper closely. For hardcore readers, the Kindle 3 is still a best option but users seeking multi-functionality may want to look at Google’s eBookstore seriously.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tops expectations against all-mighty iPad

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab tops expectations against all-mighty iPad When Samsung announced plans for their tablet computer called the Galaxy Tab, many laughed it off as a joke because of Apple’s dominant spot in the market with the iPad. No one could really touch the Cupertino based company’s PR department and slick advertisements. However, Samsung seems to have caught the attention of consumers and have pushed over one million Galaxy Tab tablet computers in less than two months.