This speaker charges in minutes, plays for hours. Photo: Blueshift
A few years ago, Portland resident Sam Beck built a bike-powered speaker that wouldn’t cut off when he stopped pedaling at stoplights. He accomplished such a feat with an amazing new technology: supercapacitors.
Instead of stopping there, however, Beck decided to bring his vision to the portable bluetooth speaker market, and his company — Blueshift — was born. Crowd-funded and open sourced, these gorgeous bamboo speakers charge in minutes and sound amazing for hours. The original unit, called Helium, is a big, bold bamboo speaker that packs a ton of sound.
Beck is releasing a second generation speaker called Hydrogen on crowd-funding site Crowd Supply. This new boombox is smaller and a little less loud, but it’s the same quality and design as its larger sibling, and a little less pricey.
Part of the appeal, for Beck, of figuring out this entirely new way of powering a speaker was the inherent challenge of doing something that no one else had.
“It seemed like such a good idea,” he told Cult of Mac over the phone, “I wondered why no one else was doing it. I saw that there was another way to do things that no one else was doing.”
Check out the video below for more details on this gorgeous high-tech portable speaker cabinet.
Just as night follows day, death follows taxes and blissful sleep follows energetic coitus, so a new iPad is always followed by a new case. And for me that case might just be Grove’s gorgeous new Wood Smart Case for the mini and the new iPad Air.
I am not a fan of clutter – be it paper-based, digital, or otherwise. I’ve got a scanner that takes care of the first type, and a combination of apps (including Hazel) helps take care of the second type. But I’m also a guy who likes to keep things need and tidy in order to avoid clutter. My desk doesn’t have a lot of working space, so I really need to keep desk clutter at a minimum. I had yet to find a fully functional solution…until the latest Cult of Mac Deals offer came along.
The 100% bamboo Station is the solution I’m talking about. Functional, minimalist, eco-friendly – it’s the ideal desk organizer. And Station is at an ideal price as well – only $34.99 for a limited time.
Believe it or not, Black Friday has already come and gone. Pretty soon the Christmas season will begin, and we’ll mark this midwinter festival by getting together with friends and family and continuing to drink and eat far too much. Meanwhile, we also buy gifts for those same friends and family members, whether they want them or not. Luckily, we’re here to help, and if you follow our festive advice, your gifts just might make it into the “wanted” category. From now until Christmas, Cult of Mac will be putting together holiday gift guys full of ideas for the special ones in your life, no matter what their interests or your budget. Today, we’re looking at gifts for the lovely laydee in your life.
The iPad Mini at the Apple Store in Passeig de Gracia, Barcelona. Photo Charlie Sorrel (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
The iPad Mini is here, and it is lying naked and vulnerable on your desk/bed/lap/passenger seat. And that’s ok, because today is all about tweaking and configuring your settings, installing apps and seeing which of your pants have back pockets big enough to carry it (don’t sit down!)
But what of tomorrow? Soon you’ll start searching for cases, speakers, docks and other accessories for the latest tiny addition to your family, and that’s where we come in. Yes, you can use most of your iPad and iPhone accessories with the new Mini, but here are some add-ons which work particularly well with Apple’s littlest tablet.
I’m posting this cute little gadget mostly for the benefit of Cult of Mac’s esteemed deputy editor John “olde-worlde” Brownlee, a man so reverent of natural materials that he once swapped out the ugly, modern sheet of borosilicate glass atop his induction hob for a shiny sheet of vintage, tanned pigskin.
With hilarious (and bacon-scented) results.
So this cable wrangler should be right up his street, especially as it is called the “Cable Fondler,” a name which will appear to Mr. Brownlee’s other weakness: he’s a colossal perv.
Grove has long made some of the sexiest Apple accessories around, hewing them out of polished bamboo and then laser etching them with attractive designs of your choice, so it’s no surprise that the Portland, Oregon based outfit now have cases available for the iPhone 5. Also unsurprising is just how gorgeous they are, especially in their etched incarnations.
You’ll pay, of course — Grove’s iPhone 5 cases start at $79 without any engraving, and go up from there to $99 for one with a design and $129 for a custom engraving. Fashion never comes cheap.
Wacom might be letting every other pen maker bring touch-sensitive styluses to the iPad first, but at least its regular dumb iPad styluses are amongst the best out there. And if you have ever hefted your Wacom Bamboo stylus and thought “This is almost perfect, but I wish it were a little stubbier,” then I have good news:
Wacom has made a stubby stylus. What’s more, it transforms into a long and slender stylus. It’s called the Bamboo Stylus Pocket.
This cash register could be used in the House of Bamboo
I used to work as a the sole waiter in a restaurant where the cash register consisted of a wooden cigar box and a solar-powered Casio calculator. I’m an honest chap, and the chef was also the owner, so it worked just fine. But times have changed, and now there exists a modern alternative to our old cedar box. It’s called the Cashbox and it is fashioned from beautiful bamboo varnished to look like a hideous high-school craft project.