Friday, February 17, 2006

Motorized Snowboard

Well, it's winter still, so you know you're bound to get continued crazy posts about winter technologies from me (after all, the Winter Olympics are currently on the tube, too!). Anyway ...

My kinsmen in the Pacific Northwest keep amazing me -- this time, with their motorized snowboard. Dudes, you gotta check out the Power Plank! And then there is the video that makes it look super fun! While it doesn't look like you're gonna get the total body workout / exercise you wanted from doing traditional winter sports, it does look like a much cheaper alternative to a snowmobile. The guy in the video makes a good point -- people who live in countries that get snow but don't really have good mountains for downhill skiing or snowbaording could greatly benefit from this ... I have to agree. I'd love to zoom around one in Prague when it snows here :-)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Having some Wi-Fi FON ...

Well, if you're into nabbing free Wi-Fi from off of the street (and offering your own Wi-Fi connection in return as payment), the rapidly emerging FON Community may be what you're looking for. With big names like Esther Dyson on board, you may want to keep your eye on it.

Basically, you buy their FON Wi-Fi router for 25 bucks/euro, hook it up to your broadband, and go. The router comes with special firmware (that allows client applications to log into the router?); however, there is still no naming convention, at least according FON forum posters (which means, there is no way to know it's a FON connection unless somebody broadcasts "FON Wi-Fi" or something), so this is kinda strange (they really should just standardize it in the router .. "FON Spot" or something...).

This idea is good for a few reaons -- 1. Users can be tracked and held responsible for the content they surf/send/download, 2. it is the "give a penny, take a penny" mentality ... you know that anybody on your router is offering their connection like you, and 3. Aside from the 25 dollar "donation" fee for the router, it's FREE.

Downside is 1. Users can be tracked and held responsible for the content they surf/send/download (it's always a 2-way street with this), 2. not sure how useful it's gonna be ... walking around some neighborshood to get Wi-Fi seems cheesy, especially when I can get it at Starbucks or some other corresponding cafe for FREE, and I get a chair and table to boot!, and 3. You gotta share your connection (watch out for bandwidth hogs!).

The concept is good, but not sure how far it's gonna go ... there are already gangs and grips for free Wi-Fi communities out there (like CZFREE in the Czech Republic), or larger, well established pay communities like Boingo Wireless.

Whatever the case, good luck to FON!

[ Technorati Tags: Wi-Fi FON Boingo
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Lib Tech Snowboards ...

While a tad outside of my normal postings on "technology," I think it's still a legit post, mainly because I'm a snowboarder and Lib Technologies is from (my native) Washington state.

Anyway, I haven't paid too much attention to snowboards and their technologies for a while, but now that I'm about to buy a new one (yeah, and the season will probably be over soon), I've been looking, and it appears our local maker Lib Tech has some pretty cool new designs out, called Magne-Traction boards ... which, in short, makes ice riding feel like powder and lets you climb half-pipes with ease (wink, wink). Their explaination seems legit enough, so I am convinced (I'm a sucker for marketing, aren't I?) I need to buy one. I just have to find some place I can buy one over here in the CZ ... wish me luck!

If anybody out there has a Magne-Traction board, drop me a line! And, if Lib Tech is reading this, you can always send "one of your sons" a test model to review :-))))

[ Technorati Tags: Snowboarding Lib Tech Magne-Traction ]