Brando’s Solar Charger is a great way to power your USB devices.
Brando 2-USB-Ports Multi-Solar Charger
From the product page:
It can recharge most known mobile phone types and USB interfacing digital products. This solar charger can be recharged through direct sunlight, AC power or car power. It is convenient for you to take along with when you are out on business, on travel, on a long journey on bus or ship, etc. It is a portable, environmentally-friendly, lightweight, durable and versatile solar charging product.
You can charge two devices at the same time. The Solar Charger is available in silver and black and costs US$59.00.
Link via Geek With Laptop
Digitimes reports that Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has budgeted NT$229 million (US$7.0 million) for the next three years starting in 2008 to change the traffic lights in all counties and cities in Taiwan to LED-based ones, according to the Chinese-language Central News Agency (CNA).
Taiwan’s Bureau of Energy, under the MOEA, said Taiwan now has 350,000 traffic lights using LEDs as a lighting source, with the remaining 420,000 traffic lights to also use LED lighting in the next three years for a total savings in power consumption estimated to be 85%, CNA said.
After switching traffic signals to LEDs, MOEA will launch a NT$130 million plan to change street lamps at specific roads or areas to LED-based ones, CNA indicated.
Let’s hope other countries will follow this example, because according to HowStuffWorks:
- LEDs are brighter. The LED arrays fill the entire “hole” and have equal brightness across the entire surface, making them brighter overall.
- LED bulbs last for years, while halogen bulbs last for months. Replacing bulbs costs money for the trucks and people who do the work, and it also ties up traffic. Increasing the replacement interval can save a city big dollars.
- LED bulbs save a lot of energy.
Link via Digg
500 billion is the number of plastic bags consumed worldwide every year (1 million per minute), and 500 is the amount of years it takes for a plastic bag to decay in a landfill.
Spurred by a filmmaker’s documentary, the English town of Modbury became the first in Europe to ban plastic bags outright.
Turtle eating a plastic bag
It was watching sea creatures choke on plastic bags in the Pacific Ocean that finally persuaded Rebecca Hosking that enough was enough. The British filmmaker had already recoiled in disgust at deserted Hawaiian beaches piled up with four feet of rubbish, the jetsam of Western consumerism washed up by an ocean teeming with plastic. Now, filming off the coast, she looked on aghast as sea turtles eagerly mistook bobbing translucent shapes in the water for jellyfish
A good reminder to bring my own bag when going shopping and to decline extra bags if I can carry the items (or stick them in the bag I got with something I bought earlier). When doing groceries without a bag, I like to use discarded product boxes (the ones they stock from) which later serve as “old paper” recycling storage boxes in my home.
Ars Technica is reporting that you better not believe your inkjet printer when it tells you the cartridge is empty.
Epson commissioned tests (by TÜV Rheinland) to measure the environmental impact of ink waste and to back up its assertion that it’s less wasteful — as well as cheaper — to use a printer that has individual color tanks.
From Ars Technica:
A new study says that on average, more than half of the ink from inkjet cartridges is wasted when users toss them in the garbage. Why is that interesting? According to the study, users are tossing the cartridges when their printers are telling them they’re out of ink, not when they necessarily are out of ink.
I’ve been printing on my laser printer for months now with the toner warning LED flashing constantly. Didn’t even shake the toner yet…
Link via Boing Boing
Homegrown Sounds has released version 1.1 of Astralis VSTi Synthesizer Pack, a bundle which initially comprises of 2 synthesizers: Astralis A and Astralis B (which is a slightly simpler single synth version).
New in v1.1
- A Bank of 16 patches by Tim Conrardy added for Astralis B
- Added Pitch Bend on\off per synth/oscillator
- In the master section is a new slider for setting the pitch bend Keyboard range so that only a specific area will be affected by pitch bend.
- All slider ends are now fine controls for moving small increments.
- Microtonal Patches can now be installed anywhere.
- All synths now display the correct version number.
- Register box now displays correctly.
- Arp now correctly stops all notes when switched off
- Numerous other minor enhancements and bug fixes
Patches from previous versions are not compatible due to the large changes in v1.1. These versions have a unique ID and can be installed alongside though it is recommended that you recreate your patches in 1.1, this is the unfortunate sacrifice for some of the improved functionality.
A license for Astralis can still be purchased for the introductory price of US 29.89 (50% off).
Visit Homegrown Sounds for more information and a 30-day trial version of Astralis v1.1.
You can read more about the full set of features of the Astralis synths on this page.
, distortion and overdrive
, effect plugins
, low price
Posted in news
on Jun 15, 2007 - 0 comments
Novuzeit has released X-FX Series, a collection of 10 classic audio effects.
Jack Dark writes:
X-FX represents 10 high quality individual VST units (listed below) that offer traditional FX with enhanced control parameter options. For example, nearly every control knob on an X-FX unit supports its own individual LFO for self-automation. Most X-FX units allow tweaking of the left and right stereo channels independently (where sensibly applicable).
X-FX includes the following plugins:
- Analog filter, vintage filter designed for analog warmth
- Chorus, with large variety of options
- Comb filter, including state variable filtering
- Delay, interesting modulation options for glitchy weirdness
- Distortion, decibel quantizing, bitcrushing and waveshaping
- Overdrive, designed to emulate the sounds of a variety of tube amplifiers
- Pan-Vol, LFO controlled volume shaping / stereo panning
- Phlanger, a combination phaser and flanger unit
- Reverb, with a few twists
- Stereoize, turn your mono into stereo
The full version of X-FX gets rid of the random periodic silence and includes the user manual. You can purchase the X-FX series is currently only $20.00 USD.
Visit the X-FX page for more information on each individual effect plugin, screenshots, demo sounds and a to download a demo of the X-FX Series.
Wusik’s WilliamK has come up with a new promotion for Wusikstation, a totally insane group-buy.
The idea is to reach 150,000 users, at which point you get the following for just $1.95 USD:
- Full copy of Wusikstation V3 VSTi (Windows version only)
- Two Gig Collection set of sounds
- 3 Past Issues of the Wusik Sound Magazine (of your choice)
So how does this work? William explains:
To enter this Group-Buy, you need to pay a non refundable $ 1.95 USD fee. If we reach over 149,999 users, you don’t need to pay anything else. If we don’t reach this amount, you can opt to purchase a regular version using this $ 1.95 as credit. We will not refund any payments if we don’t reach the max amount. We will only start the delivery of the software once we reach over 150,000 users.
150,000 users seems a bit steep perhaps, but at least you’ll just risk $ 1.95, which you can also use towards buying Wusikstation or a WSM (magazine) for the regular price in case the group-buy does not reach its target.
The group-buy will end December 10th 2007.
Visit Wusik’s group-buy page for more information.