Take an aluminum pipe, stuff a tiny 2.2-watt amp and a couple of speakers inside and you have a cylindrical active speaker from Brightonnet Japan that works with just about any iPod. The speaker draws power from a PC's USB port or runs on a quartet of AAA batteries, and is pleasingly portable at just 7 inches long, weighing in at a light six ounces.
These little portable speakers, available December 11 for $26, remind us of the Boomtube speakers that have proven themselves invaluable in our adventurous outdoor jaunts in warmer climates, but then those lightweight yet cradle-rocking 40-watt babies cost $155. They're not nearly as pretty as these, but who cares; it's the sound that counts, and you get what you pay for. Usually.
Brightonnet Tube Speaker for iPod [FarEastGizmos]