This week at TreeHugger: We dig in to a blog "celebrating the history of technology and creative genius over the centuries to uncover the technology behind the first full-suspension bike. Does the world need any more LED's? The debate rages on regarding the merits of this long-lasting, hand-held pocket lights. Before there were external video and voice guidance hacks, we showed off Prius' potential for stealth mode, satellite radio and an iPod interface. Finally, harness the power of the breeze with a DIY wind-energy generator, complete with pics, instructions and videos.
Ever wonder how we got to this age of fabulous technology and can't-live-without gadgets? How the bicycle evolved from "The Rover," a three-wheeler made by a man in the sewing machine business? Then check out the Patent Pending Blog and our post about bicycle technology. You'll never guess who invented the radio-controlled torpedo....
We found this little pen light derivative shaped like a credit card — perfect for pockets and purses and the like — that uses a long-lasting, mega-efficient LED to provide powerful light for a long time. Ordinarily, we'd snap them up quicker than you can say "Light Emitting Diode," but this one caused us to pause. It might last ten or fifteen years (it might not) and then it can't be recycled or recharged. We debate with ourselves (and our readers) about the merits of such a device and wonder if the world finally has one too many LED gadgets.
"Stealth" mode isn't everything that Toyota's Prius has been hiding from us. Unlike Japanese or European models, these hybrids imported to the States don't have the option to run on electric battery-power alone...until now. But there's much more you can do to your Prius with a little help from Radio Shack and these handy how-to guides. Also offered are a satellite radio system, added audio/video inputs, an auto-lock function for the doors, an iPod interface, and a system that lets the 12 volt power outlets stay on when the motor is off. They also offer a devise that bypasses the I Agree prompt shown by the GPS system when the car is started, and allows the operator to enter a destination while the car is in motion, which was previously impossible. Oh, the places your Prius will go.
Lastly, we ran across a new site dedicated to pictures, descriptions, instructions and even videos for DIY wind generators and other forms of small scale renewable energy for the home-electricity-production enthusiast. If you've ever wanted to experiment with AC/DC conversion or making a bicycle wheel into a propeller, this site is for you. The future is green...get wind of it.
Treehugger s EcoModo column appears every Tuesday on Gizmodo.