06 April 2009

We should use less

Are you interested in "a for-profit company that sells sustainable products and gives 10% of profits to water and sanitation projects. "

Check out useless, a new company with "useless" designed and branded products, from water bottles to really cool-looking bags made from recycled billboards.

The products look great, the premise is solid. - and best of all is that useless is looking to partner with colleges to "help campuses and students cut down on waste and raise money for clean water and sanitation projects."

Their first partner? My alma mater, Hampshire College.

Not so useless after all.

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28 March 2009

Use Your Imagination!

More great product news: if you're not so much interested in Dunkin' Donuts after seeing the calorie report from my last post, then perhaps you'll be interested in this new item I found on Friday at my local supermarket: Squeezy Fruit (or Squ'eezy Fruit), made by Goodness Gardens of New Hampton, NY.

First, there was Go-Gurt - yogurt in a tube - and now, of course, there's fruit in a tube. I'm actually surprised it's taken us this long to get to this point. Of course, it's hard to complain about Squeezy Fruit; having looked at the ingredients, it's about as natural as a fruit-in-a-tube product could reasonably be. It's more the principle involved: why do we need more processed fruit at all?

Well, I believe in markets and freedom, and so if there's a free and open market for squeezable fruit ... great. As it says on the side of the tube: Use Your Imagination!

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25 March 2009

Truth in Advertising

This might be the most honest advertisement I've ever seen! Although it is also a bit astounding: are those calorie counts per donut? And really, is that supposed to be an inducement to buy, or a warning to run three laps around the block first?!

Dunkin' Donuts, I think you might have missed the mark with this one. But for those looking for to channel their creative energies into the magical field of donut-making, definitely check-out their latest promotion: the Create Dunkin's Next Donut contest. Hey, you could win $12 grand!

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08 February 2009

Apple Blinked, Stuttered

Over on the other side today, I once again lavished some praise on Apple for its terrific retail sales and service. But I wouldn't be telling the whole story if I didn't also acknowledge that Apple failed one small test today - something that should have been an easy one.

My wife and I went to the Fifth Avenue store today to take a look at a new machine and, most importantly, get information about running Windows on a Mac. There are, alas, a few programs that my other half uses that work only in Windows ... but she needs another computer and Macs are definitely part of my present and future.

Conceptually, we know that Windows-on-Mac is possible, via Boot Camp or Parallels or other programs. Practically speaking, we wanted to see it in action: what does Windows really look like, how will it work, is there any impact on performance ... ? All obvious questions, most of which can be answered by reading items on Apple's web site - but reading the web site and seeing for one's self, in person, on the computer, is different. Isn't that the whole point of having a retail store, so people can see for themselves, in person?

So, it was a bit of a shame that Apple seems unprepared to address this question in any substantive manner. Not a single computer in the store was running Parallels, and only one - an old laptop - was running Boot Camp. The sales staff was trying hard to be helpful, but their knowledge in this area seemed more limited than we had expected. (Certainly more limited than I expected based on past experience.)

It is probably unrealistic to expect Apple to be able to demonstrate every piece of software it sells, but running Windows isn't every piece of software: it's been a major, if subtle, selling point ever since Macs moved to an Intel-driven computing platform. If someone from Apple ever reads this, I hope they'll take this into account for the future.

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