Image via Yanko Design
This might be the greatest thing ever. As a freelance writer who likes to travel, I find myself in coffee shops all the time. You’d be shocked to know that most coffee shops don’t have plugs and don’t have food. This invention by Yanko Design can’t fix the latter but it sure as heck can fix the former.
Ready for this? I’m talking about a solar-powered outlet. It sticks to windows with a simple suction cup. The device harnesses power via solar panels and is fully charged within five to eight hours. When it’s powered to the max, it can provide 10 hours of electricity. Think of the possibilities: electricity in the car, in a plane, on the bus, or outside. It’s only a prototype now, but I’ll certainly be the first in line to buy.
Read more about it at Fast Company.
Image via Sudo
If you’re like me, you get at least 5 “daily deal” emails sent to your inbox every morning. Once in a blue moon, you find something awesome, so you don’t want to unsubscribe. For the most part, though, they’re a pain in the butt.
Looking to reduce your inbox clutter? Get Sudo. It’s is a free app for iOS and Android that manages local deals. Get only the ones you want, when you want them. Plus, Sudo has a map that geotargets the daily deals. Pull up your current location and you’ll see select retailers (based on your interests) offering a deal.
The other piece of this equation is the little kickback that Sudo gives you with each purchase. For example, the app told me that Restaurant.com currently has a $100 gift certificate for $40 to a local Moroccan restaurant. If I buy it, Sudo will give me $3 back. Nice.
Image via Viber
You may already know that Viber is a free mobile app for calling, texting, and sharing pictures for iPhone and Android. But now they’ve taken it to the next level: desktop.
It seems like a backward move, but it’s not. Just watch. The mobile app and desktop app interact seamlessly. Take a text or phone conversation from your mobile device to your computer and back again. (Because we roam around while we chat, right?) The desktop app also includes video calling, a new feature for the platform that’s currently only available on desktop.
To sign up for the service, you’ll have to download the app first. Read more about it TechCrunch.
Image via Youtube
Technology has a threshold – it gets exponentially more awesome and until it hits the point of ridiculousness. This is a prime example.
Domino’s, like many pizza restaurants, has jumped on the order tracking bandwagon. While patiently awaiting your pie, you can check when your order has been placed, when it’s in the oven, and when it’s out the door and on the way to your mouth. But this pizza chain is taking it one step further – a live camera.
Currently only available in a Salt Lake City store, Domino’s Live features 5 streaming cameras. You can literally watch your pizza being made. Overboard? Yes. Kinda cool? Sure. Apparently it’s also about divulging the quality of the preparation process. They got nothin’ to hide – as long as their employees think twice before picking their noses. [Via PSFK.]
Image via Drop
The creator of Minecraft has unleashed his newest take on addictive gaming: Drop.
Drop tests how fast you type, and it’s made for browsers. I don’t know if any of you remember these kinds of games from your childhood, but I do. And I loved them. Remember that one where the words fell from the sky and you had to type them before they hit the ground? Amazing. This one requires you to type letters as fast as you can before they get sucked up by what looks like a giant spinning toilet drain. The trippy background music makes it that much more difficult.
Typing games might seem a little passé but we can all name at least five adults who still hunt and peck. If playing video games with grandma is good for her, then this must be great.
Read more about Drop at WIRED’s GameLife.
Image via Aubre Andrus
If you’re a bride-to-be, you’re very familiar with Pinterest. But I’ve got a much better option for you: Listhings.
Listhings is everything I wanted Pinterest to be and more. It’s a digital bulletin board for words and pictures that can be shared with anyone. I can make images and text as big or as small as I want them to be, and drag and drop them anywhere on my board. I can even customize my layout.
The best part is that everything I “pin” to this board is not blasted out to my whole social network, leaving no surprises for my wedding… or kitchen renovation… or spring wardrobe. I even added my fiancé to my wedding board. Let’s just say he’s much more likely to sign up for this website than for Pinterest.
Image via Flickr
It wasn’t long before the hashtags and crowdsourced information, the ones that Twitter and Instagram are so familiar with, would hit the video sphere.
Apps like Switchcam lets users team up with friends and family to share footage and capture the same event from multiple angles for a DIY multi-cam video experience. And now Krowds (for iPhone and Android) is offering a similar experience. The app uses a location finder so you can discover footage (say, of someone sitting in the front row of a concert while you are stuck in back). The site encourages teaming up with users around the world to create video mash-ups of common interests, for example coffee mugs. Hey, to each his or her own.
How will you use crowdsourced video technology?
Image via Photojojo
I don’t have a ton of music, movies or books on my digital devices. But I do have one downfall: photos. I have an obsession with Instagram and an obsession with photo-editing apps. That means my iPhone is constantly at full capacity. It moves at sloth-like speeds and tells me I have no room for the latest update.
Instead of painstakingly deleting my precious photos, I’m picking up this quick fix: an iFlash. It’s a USB drive for your favorite Apple device. It plugs right into your iPhone, iPad, or iPod and transfers the photos quickly and easily. You can then plug the drive into your laptop to place the photos on your computer, or leave the stored files as they are and view them with a free app. It’s kind of amazing.
Pick one up at the Photojojo store for $99 or $149.
Image via Flickr
I’m struggling right now. I’m the (once) proud owner of a Kindle Fire, but I’m starting to doubt my purchase. When I researched tablets, I was looking for an e-reader. The super-low price and colorful graphics of the Kindle Fire captured my attention. Read books and get fancy iPad-like tech? Sounds great!
Turns, out I was wrong. Now I read A Storm of Swords at night with a blindingly bright white screen staring back at me in the face. I squint, I power through, I power down. It’s just too uncomfortable. Even on the lowest setting, there’s no way I’m getting through the entire Game of Thrones series on this screen. And then there are the apps. I’m overjoyed that Flipboard finally got an Android version, but as an iPhone and a Mac user, I’m really longing for the iOS apps I find most familiar.
So what should I have done? Bought an iPad and a Kindle Paperwhite? Do we really need a tablet and an e-reader? Comment below or tweet us @WIREDInsider.
Image via Kickstarter
It’s kind of a funny thing. I’m really passionate about Kickstarter. I went gaga for at least 100 different projects I’ve seen on the site, but I have yet to donate to one. Until today.
Chicago’s Pierogi Wagon Food Truck was the tipping point for me. You see, I really love pierogi. These Polish dumplings are filled with everything from sauerkraut to cheese to potato and are covered in bacon bits and grilled onions. But that’s not really why I threw down some cash for Chicago’s first pierogi-mobile. See, my grandma grew up in Chicago’s Polish neighborhood and always served us pierogi and kielbasa on holidays, so my donation was really a little tribute to her.
I guess you never know how or why your Kickstarter project will affect people. Sometimes it just does.