California Restricts Television Power Consumption

Samsung LED Backlit TV

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gases, lower power consumption, and maintain the state’s reputation as the hippiest in America, the California Energy Commission has set strict guidelines that would require televisions to use less power. According to SF Gate:

The new rules, adopted unanimously by the California Energy Commission, will require manufacturers to cut the power televisions use by one-third in two years and in half by 2013 by setting wattage ceilings.

Consumers are expected to save $8.1 billion in energy costs over a 10-year period as a result of the restrictions, without sacrificing high-definition pictures, the commission said. The panel also cited a study that showed the energy savings could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3 million metric tons a year — the equivalent of taking 500,000 cars off the road — in part by eliminating the need for a new power plant.

While environmental groups are applauding the effort, consumer electronics advocates are not. Doug Johnson, senior director of technology for the Consumer Electronics Association said, “This is a constraint on innovation and on consumer choice. It’s unnecessary and unjustified.”

Continue reading “California Restricts Television Power Consumption”

Anti-Handshaking Movement Gets Pretentious Awareness Wristbands — Skip the Shake, Fight the Flu

Skip the Shake Fight the Flu

Ever since Lance Armstrong started pushing those LiveStrong rubber bracelets in 2004 to raise money and awareness for cancer research, every cause has gotten its own rubber wristband. Hundreds of great non-profit organizations used similar bands to spread their messages. Sadly, most of the ones churned out today are used to promote for-profit products. This makes most of them easy to ignore, but Skip the Shake’s got my attention.

Skip the Shake is selling its wristbands in order to get people to stop spreading germs by shaking hands. The bracelet reads, “Skip the Shake, Fight the Flu.” While the company does have a point about spreading germs, wearing a rubber band to show that you care enough not to shake hands is a little ridiculous…like something ridiculous enough for Larry David to do in Curb Your Enthusiasm. It’s so silly that I might pick one up.

Source via TechCrunch

Google Wave Being Used for Pen-and-Paper RPGs

Google Wave role playing

Google Wave is being positioned as a revolutionary collaborative messaging tool with the potential to change how people communicate for business. It still has a long ways to get there, but for now it’s a fantastic geek toy. In addition to being a fine tool to make hilarious YouTube videos, Google Wave is being used for pen-and-paper role-playing games. Ars Tehnica’s Jon Stokes reported:

I wasn’t the least bit surprised to quickly discover a handful of Wave-based roleplaying games already in progress, and many more in various stages of planning. In the past few days, I’ve watched games from the sideline and talked to some Game Masters and gamers—there seems to be an emerging consensus that Google Wave has as much RPG potential as any platform since the venerable and proverbial tabletop.

This is just awesome, awesome stuff. I’m pretty sure that Google didn’t have epic Dungeons & Dragons sessions in mind when it came up with the idea for Google Wave. While I still think it has great potential as a business tool, I’m loving that it’s being used for things like D&D and recreating Pulp Fiction. Whenever you get your Google Wave invite, be sure to bust out your D20!


Sega Console Zippo Lighters Completely Rule!

Sega Genesis Lighter

Are you longing for the days when Sega was a major player in the console world? Do you also happen to need a lighter? Well you’re in luck! Andriasang has reported on two completely awesome Zippo lighters — one with a Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) design and the other shaped like a Sega Saturn!!! The site’s Anoop Gantayat wrote:

The lighters are officially known as the “Sega Memorial Hardware Zippo Lighter No.1 Mega Drive Model” and “Sega Memorial Hardware Zippo Lighter No. 2 Sega Saturn Model.” This seems to suggest that more variations are on the way.

You’re going to have to pay a bit to smoke so stylishly. Banpresto is charging ¥10,500 for each lighter. That’s the price of a later day Genesis, and you won’t get Sonic as a pack-in.

Even though these lighters cost over $100 each, I’m so tempted to pick one up. What’s cooler than lighting a girl’s cigarette and showing her how much you loved the 16-bit era? (Don’t answer that.)

Hit the break for a pic of the Sega Saturn lighter and lemme know what you think (please)!

Continue reading “Sega Console Zippo Lighters Completely Rule!”

Marvel Comics Online Comic-Book Creator Rules!!!

Silver Surfer

My friend at Marvel sent me a link to this online Marvel Superhero Squad comic-book creator. It’s cute and fun…so much so that I’m worried about my productivity for the day. The system is pretty simple, allowing you to manipulate characters, backgrounds, text, sound effects, and objects. You can create simple comic strips or longer comic books. When you’re all done, you can save your masterful work as a PDF file.

If you get a chance, check it out! I’d love to see some of your creations.

Google Wave Used to Make Goofy YouTube Movies

Google has huge plans for its upcoming collaborative messaging tool, Google Wave, but a lot of people don’t know what the hell it is and what it’s supposed to do. In the hands of some YouTube users, Google Wave is a tool for making entertaining movies (entertaining for nerds anyway). First up is a famous clip from Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. (Please note that foul language is used.)

Not quite as entertaining is this Google Wave version of Good Will Hunting:

Continue reading “Google Wave Used to Make Goofy YouTube Movies”

ThinkGeek’s Tauntaun Sleeping Bag Rules!

Taun Taun sleeping bag

Big ups to N8R for bringing this product to my attention! In the immortal words of Han Solo:

And I thought…they smelled bad…on the outside!

I’m sure many of you have been craving this exact product and here it is: a tauntaun sleeping bag from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back! If you’ve ever fantasized about being a beat up (almost) Jedi that needs the warmth of a tauntaun’s innards for survival, your dream has come true.

C’mon, I know at least one of you is going to pick this sleeping bag up. Admit it!