Admit it: somewhere in a drawer or stashed in your closet, you have an old cell phone or digital camera with no practical purpose.
Second Rotation is a Web site designed to find a home for that used and no-longer-loved electronic gear. On Tuesday, the company announced that it has raised $4.4 million in funding led by Venrock to expand its product catalog and ramp up marketing.
The Web site, which launched last July, acts as a broker between consumers and eBay or an electronics recycler.
To unload your old Treo or Canon, you write the product name into … Read more
Europe loves the VW Beetle, the Renault Twingo, and the Smart. The U.S. has the Mini and will finally get the Smart, too. And recently India proudly presented the spiritual successor to all of these--the $2,500 Tata Nano, a "people's car" that is widely gushed about, not only for its surprisingly slick design but also for its innovations.
In recent years, ecoconcerns, design savvy, and an (urban) willingness to quest for practicality have fostered the trend toward specialized cars that are as small as the niches they serve. While the idea of a small car … Read more
I find myself agreeing with telecommunications analyst Jeffrey Kagan, who noted Wednesday that while CES is growing in size, it may be waning as a source of truly cutting-edge gadgets and ideas.
"I'm not sure how to say this kindly, but this year's Consumer Electronics Show was pretty dull," he said in a note to reporters. "It was big, in fact huge, and getting bigger every year...But there were no new ideas that have not been talked about to death already."
At the airport on Wednesday, I heard two other show-goers making the … Read more
Isn't it interesting how trends are made? "One of the things I like about trends is that they seem so easy -- Blue is the color of 2008! GenY likes health food!" observes Stacey Gillar. Coupling the disparate ("Chic Trash"), pushing an already extreme concept to the extreme ("Radical Transparency"), or simply announcing the advent of something "new" ("Nouvelle Vague," "Nouveau Niche," etc.) are some of the flourishing categories. Or you simply repackage an old concept.
"RenGen," short for Renaissance Generation and the title of … Read more
If dust could ever gather on a blog, Living with the iPhone would probably be a prime candidate. However, the good folks at CNET have made sure the dust is blown off by sending yours truly to the CES--Consumer Electronics Show--in Las Vegas. One of the directives to the cadre of bloggers fortunate enough to go was to blog excessively, but also not to go wildly afield from my blog's purpose.
So, rather than taking pictures of the iPhone next to neat gadgets (maybe I'll use the iPhone to take pictures of the gadgets I see), the … Read more
This is the traditional time when we visualize a better life in the upcoming year. We make resolutions for improved health and happiness for ourselves, our families and our friends. Career and financial goals are priorities for others. A better nation and brighter future top the list many. New Year's Resolutions can effectively start us on a better journey. Along the way, we may be detoured by interesting alternatives, and not achieve all resolutions. Yet, they are worth making.
Since I write about clean transportation, I have talked with many who travel with fewer emissions, often lower cost, and … Read more
Here's another trend for 2008: From micro-loans to micro-vacations, micro-celebrities to micro-trends, speed dating to speed cooking: the "long tail" world of consumers is becoming smaller and shorter. Products, services, and experiences are being deconstructed in easier-to-digest, easier-to-afford bits, allowing consumers to collect even more experiences, as often as possible, in an even shorter time frame. Shrinking attention spans have prompted the rise of what Wired Magazine calls "snack-size media," and the hyper-personalization of online communication has led to new formats (micro-blogs, widgets, feeds, texting, etc.) that challenge long-held marketing conventions.
The emerging "economy … Read more
Do the halls of malls give you a case of the jingle hells? You could kick back for a 20-minute break from rampant consumerism to learn more about the toxic mess it makes of the planet.
Fun, right? Actually, it is with The Story of Stuff. It's a short, friendly movie covering the ABCs of consumer culture. The sky may be falling, but we can prop it up, the film suggests.The Story of Stuff was produced by Free Range Studios, makers of the Meatrix. That entertaining, animated diatribe against factory farming has attracted more than 15 million viewers. … Read more