E-tales: Lizard lounge

Apparently, it takes about three months to train a lizard to pose in relaxing human poses

Green Day

E-tales has gone very green this week. It started with reading about eDay 2007, which saw a bid to collect up all those old PCs and mobiles over the weekend. Launched in Wellington last year, when 54 tonnes of unused hardware was collected, this e-taler is very relieved it’s taking off. Recently our family put an old but usable PC on the roadside for recycling, only to observe later that scavengers had ripped it apart, to relieve it of its small, easily sellable elements, leaving the rest strewn across the road — including dangerous bits containing lead and mercury. We have left decent but unwanted items out before, for those who might need them, and they usually disappear quickly and intact. This was a rude, and dangerous, surprise.

Eco-geeks seeks sweet spot

There are other signs the tech industry is belatedly embracing the green. For instance, Lenovo has recently released a green computer. Based on the IBM Thinkpad laptop — it bought the business in 2004 — the ThinkCentre, as it’s called, uses few hazardous materials, is easy to recycle and uses little power. It also offers an optional solar panel. The drawback? It’s hideous. Think style, Lenovo, and you could well be onto something. The cost, at US$400 (NZ$538) is reasonable, though.

Then there’s Sony's new sugar battery. Designed to run on the sweet stuff, the 50mW bio-battery might even help Sony repair its tarnished reputation — remember the exploding lithium-ion laptop batteries? While power is still limited — 50mW would power your MP3 player but not much more — it’s still pretty amazing. We just hope it gets smaller and more powerful in time.

iPod etiquette

Browsing in a bookshop recently, E-tales’ editor was intrigued by a book entitled L is for Lady, so flicked through to update herself on modern manners and netiquette. The latter dictates emails should be short and sweet, and leave the big conversations for voice or face-to-face communications. So far, so predictable, but it was very up-to-date, with a section on the polite use of iPods. The advice is to keep the sound low — not everyone shares your taste in music, and, please, when someone does speak to you, take out the earphones. So very rude not to, darling.

Apple is not amused

Our sister publication, Reseller News, was intrigued to get a blog reply to its recent comment piece on how hot the iPhone wasn’t when it came to initial pricing. Apparently, the hot-to-trot buyers, who bought the gizmo hot off the shelf, paid US$200 (NZ$268) more than the laggards who held off for three months. The early adopters are hopping mad — mad enough that Apple is offering them a US$100 rebate.

Reseller’s blog then got a reply from Apple, marked “Posted by: Steve Jobs”. It complained about the blog’s “own goal” comment, saying, “Own goal? You clearly don’t understand either the market or human nature. People are happy to… own what has become known as the ‘Jesus phone’, regardless of price.”

Yeah, right.

Nursery rudery

One of our E-talers was intrigued when fossicking around the iTunes Store recently. He happened across an album of nursery rhymes. “Now, I know the Americans are paranoid about offending anyone,” he says. “But it's a bit odd that they should choose to censor the names of tracks 34-36, yet leave tracks 15, 22 and 32 untouched.”

The offending tracks are: “I love little p***y”; “P***y cat” and “P***y cat ate dumplings”. The unoffending tracks are: “Cock-a-doodle Doo”, “Hey Diddle Diddle” and “Ride a Cock Horse”.

Lizard lounge

Only in LA. One of our e-talers came across this brilliant Flickr picture of a real-live lizard — apparently — lounging on a mini purple couch, on a café table-top. Tony, or ‘manmadepants’ as he calls himself on Flickr, says he came across the strange spectacle while moseying down the street in Los Angeles. Apparently, the lizard-owner, who had a lot of little couches and lizards in his bag, wouldn’t explain much other than to say that it took about three months to train the little guys to pose in relaxing human poses.

“The whole was just so oddly perfect. I really didn’t need him to go into detail,” said Tony. Go lizard loungers.

Lost in translation

Miasolé makes thin, lightweight and cheap (if anything solar is cheap) solar cells. Its manufacturing history is in hard disk storage, but E-tales reckons the Californian company needs to re-think its name. It’s not so bad with the accent on the “e”, but most media can’t be bothered with accents. Think about it.

There’s a lot in name, as Shakespeare famously observed.

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