LCD Reflex Skin

LCD electronic skin
These new skins can be cut and placed on any device. Most people, I imagine, will put them on a phone. But couldn’t you see it being on your door and changing color when it is locked? Or how about on your iPod and change when you put on different songs? How about on your clothes and change the color to match your mood?

Who knows exactly how they will be applied in the future, but I think I probably want one…or at least want to see it in person. In the meantime, there are a couple videos of it HERE.

Sixth Sense Seamless Technology

Ted continues to be cutting edge and exciting.

The idea of having pertinent, semantically appropriate information literally at your fingertips in the moments you need it to make a decision about your next action is what we really want. This technology could make it happen. Its called Sixth Sense and is being developed by Fluid Interfaces (formally Ambient Intelligence) at the MIT Media Lab.

Touch and gestural interfaces are great, but this takes your Microsoft table idea and makes it mobile. It can be anywhere, including on the surface of the people, places and products you are interacting with. The usability of this technology looks like it could be completely intuitive and easy, which is what will make it adoptable by the general public.

The video of Dr. Pattie Maes presenting at TED is the best way to understand what they are working on and how it will apply to your daily life.

Best Of 2009 Consumer Guide

consumer money

As the year ends, there will be a plethora of ‘best of’ lists. best song, best movie, best album, best cheese, best web app…

I thought that with the struggling economy, that it would be helpful to have a list of the best ways to spend (or save) your money. I gleaned this information from many sources, including Forbes, Kiplinger’s, Consumer Reports and, of course, my own experiences and those of my colleagues.

  • Best Carry-On Travel Bag – With its rounded sedges and flexible nylon sides, the Red Ox Air Boss hasn’t met an overhead compartment it couldn’t squeeze into.
  • Best Online Savings AccountING Direct is simple, has a clean web interface with great rates.
  • Best Low Cost Travel Destination – Panama! panama vaction It’s like the South Pacific without the outrageaous airfare. In fact, recently found a 6-night stay for 2 in a 4-star hotel for less tha $2000, including the $351 roundtrip ticket.
  • Best All-Around Retirement AccountRoth IRA is still the best vehicle for long-term retirement savings. You can even tap earnings early to pay for college or buy a first home.
  • Best IRA for KidsCharles Schwab is one of the few financial institutions that lets you set up a custodial IRA for your child. Minimum investment: Only $100.
  • Best Online Broker – Better known for their mutual funds, Fidelity does well when it comes to online brokerage. Great research and a user-friendly website (important to me) as well as reported great customer service, they came out ahead for an online stock picker.
  • Best Mutual Fund for a Bear Market – The aptly named Grizzly Short Fund (GRZZX) is the ultimate hedge for a falling market. When the market fell, it was up over 83% for the year compared to the S&P’s 38% loss!
  • Best Last Minute Travel Deals – Some of the best airline and hotel deals pop up at the last minute, and www.USLastMinute.com shows you how to take advantage.
  • Best Car Insurance Web SiteInsWeb.com lets you compare price quotes form several major insureers and offers tons of tips on how to save money on premiums.
  • Best Stock for Dividends – Like P&G, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) J&J logo is an “all-weather” stock that can be expected to survive all kinds of economic turmoil. With recent yields of 3.3% it also provides much needed income.
  • Best Non-Dividend Stock – What a great time to be Warren Buffet! (was there ever a bad time?) Stock prices are low and if you have extra cash laying around (and don’t want to donate it to me), the “Sage of Omaha” will be like a kid in a candy store. You can join in the fun by buying some of his Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) shares.
  • Best Stock to Buy and Forget – Even during lean times (recession), people still buy razor blades and potato chips. Procter & Gamble (PG) is a steady ship in stormy markets.
  • Best “Starter” Fund – If you are new to investing, the Amana Growth Fund (AMAGX) is a great way to get your toes wet for just $250. By folowing conservative investment principles, it managed to sidestep the recent debacle in financial stocks.
  • Best Web Site for Cheap Gas – Rater than rely on “spotters” Gasprices.Mapquest.com updates fuel prices daily via a data feed from the Oil Pricing Information Service. Just type in your zip code.
  • Best Airline – There are no “gotchas” on Southwest. southwest logo You can check two bags for free, and you’ll pay no extra fees for changing tickets or selecting seats. I was reminded of this several times this year when I had to fly on other airlines and had to pay several SURPRISE! fees at the ticket counter.
  • Best Hybrid Vehicle – Although it gets slightly lower mileage than the Toyota Prius, the honda civic hybrid Honda CivicĀ  Hybrid is a better overall value and just plain cooler.
  • Best Non-Hybrid Car for Fuel Economy – Though it is new on the scene, the new 2009 Honda Fit has the best combination of fuel economy (28 mpg city/35 mpg highway with manual transmission), utility and overall quality.
  • Best Place to Fill Your Prescriptions – Unfortunately, Wal-Mart comes out ahead as far as price is concerned; $4 for 95% of the prescriptions written in most drug categories if you can stand being there long enough to get it filled.
  • Best Smart Phone – The iPhone. iphone 3g Need I say more?
  • Best Small Digital CameraSony Cyber-shot DSC-T700 has a fantastic view finder as well as easy to use controls and slides into most pockets easily.
  • Best Credit Card for Low Rate – If you carry a balance, consider transferring to the Wells fargo Prime Rate card for its 5% interest reate and $19 annual fee.