Gift Guide: 9 Luxurious Apple Accessories

Have you started your holiday shopping yet? If you need ideas for tech gifts, here is a handpicked selection of some of the most luxurious and desirable Apple-related items from across the globe.

Solar Power and the FLAP Bag Project

My obsession with portable solar energy continues — in the past I’ve written about Suntrica’s portable chargers, Reware’s Juice Bags and Noon Solar’s range of bags. Suntrica’s chargers, though difficult to purchase outside Finland, currently offer the most elegant and practical solution for cheap, mobile and clean solar energy.
Interestingly, a unique field test of mobile solar power is taking place in a handful of African nations, where electrical power is often unreliable: AfriGadget’s Flexible Light And Power (FLAP) initiative. Read More about Solar Power and the FLAP Bag Project

Singletasking Tip: Ditch the Big Bag, Go With the Sleeve

black_sleeveWe like stuff, it’s fair to say, and I only just said so earlier today, in fact. But like having multiple applications running at the same time, having lots of gadgets close at hand will unavoidably split your focus — which is a bad thing if you’re trying to do more singletasking like me, and less driving yourself insane doing 50 things at once.

So as part of my new program of simplification, I’m re-evaluating what kind of kit I roll with on a regular basis. My weapon of choice used to be a large, multi-pocket bag (or two) with ample room for my computer, camera, and countless other attendant knickknacks including portable hard drives, USB keys, and most recently, a small secondary screen for auxiliary tasks like monitoring Twitter or my IM client. Read More about Singletasking Tip: Ditch the Big Bag, Go With the Sleeve

Non-Gadget Goodies: Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover Pen

tidetogoI’ve really enjoyed reading the “What’s In Your Bag?” posts here on WWD. I have my fair share of electronics in my bag, but I also carry around some useful non-electronic items.  Today I had a moment where a handy new non-electronic item made it into my bag: the Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover Pen, which should help ensure that I always looking my best for those tricky first client meetings.

This pen is one of those “as seen on TV” type of items that I would never purchase myself, because they “never work.” Tuns out I was wrong, very wrong. A few years ago my mom gave me one. It got thrown into my junk draw and hadn’t been seen since, until today. Read More about Non-Gadget Goodies: Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover Pen

What’s In Your Bag, Celine Roque?

I’m always taking advantage of the mobility that web work allows. Once a week, I spend a night or two with relatives in another city. Also, when I travel, I prefer to stay in my destination for more than a week. But whether I’ll be away for a night or two weeks, I find that the things I bring with me are predictable and consistent.
The Bag
img_2234I use an ordinary backpack that I found in a sale bin. It’s well-padded and it’s also the most comfortable backpack I’ve ever had. It has a lot of secret compartments in which I hide valuables.
My backpack is important because I live by a “one bag” rule: If it doesn’t fit in my bag, I don’t bring it. My friends always laugh at me for having the lightest luggage, but I’m not the one who gets slowed down because of the weight I’m carrying. To paraphrase something I once read, “You’ll find that you can take anything with you. The joke is that you have to carry it yourself.” Read More about What’s In Your Bag, Celine Roque?

9 iPhone Puzzle Games to Keep You Entertained

Continuing with our round up of iPhone/iPod touch apps, here are 9 puzzle games (in no particular order) worth checking out. Each item on the list links to a full review with feature and pricing information.

Find the most words, get the high score.

Two games in one. Play the Drop mode for Bejeweled-like game play or the Zen mode for a Solitaire-esque game.

Rotate the object to match the silhouette.

Puzzloop Endless
Fend off a non-stop barrage of colored balls.

Compete against the computer or another player in capturing the most squares.

Dizzy Bee
Use your touch device’s accelerometer to control Dizzy Bee and save its fruit friends.

Use mirrors and colored filters to guide a laser beam through check points.

It’s Scrabble meets the Rubick’s cube.

Amazing Sudoku
A flashy, stylized version of the cult game.

In the HuddleChat Debacle, a Lesson for Web 2.0 Startups

Google’s decision to release HuddleChat — a ripoff of Campfire, the chat application created by 37Signals — and the kerfuffle that ensued almost overshadowed the release of its Apps Engine platform that HuddleChat was meant to showcase. Worried that it would be perceived as a Goliath (or as Mathew Ingram says, a bully), they decided to pull the app.

As far as I’m concerned, they shouldn’t have taken it down — the damage was already done. Secondly, a chat app is a chat app. HuddleChat may have looked like Campfire, but its functionality isn’t that remarkably different from chat apps of the past. IRC has been around forever. Todd Cochrane puts it best when he writes, “I have been using Web Based chat clients for years and they all look about the same. It’s not that complicated. Their are only so many ways you can spin something.”

What the folks from Google should have done was acknowledge 37signals for the design and UI, and thanked them for their vision. End of story. Why? Because 37signals is a company that adheres to the spirit of sharing and thanking folks who inspire them.

Read More about In the HuddleChat Debacle, a Lesson for Web 2.0 Startups

Booq Vyper exo Laptop Bag Review

Vyper exo XL

Back in March I sold my G5 tower in favor of the mobile life and have been using a 17″ MacBook Pro since then.

There are a plethora of bags/totes/backpacks/etc for traveling with your laptop so there was a pretty big sea of things to chose from. I’ve tried a few different bags over the past few months a must say that the bag I use now is by far my favorite.

Booq is know for their durable and sleek bags. Almost all of their bags are made out of ballistic nylon, waterproof zippers, and a hard shell with seatbelt nylon straps. These things are seriously heavy duty. I was particularly attracted to their Vyper exo line which is large enough to carry some extras with you but not so bulky that it looks like you’re carrying around a duffle bag.

Their Vyper exo line is also their first product to make use of their new Terralinq feature. Each booq bag comes with a unique ID number etched in metal and attached to your bag so that if you loose your bag (and laptop), the person who finds it just goes to the booq site and reports the bag with the unique ID. You’d then hopefully get your precious cargo back.

Booq Vyper exo XL

I lugged around my 17″ MackBook Pro all over the country in both cars and planes and must say it easily withstood the beating. It fit perfectly in under-seat airplane storage while still holding all the random extras I was carrying with my laptop.

The only thing I might change is to lower the number of extra pockets and storage areas. It seems a tad overkill to me but I’m sure others could easily put them to use.

The price tag on a Vyper exo XL (the largest size) is $195. The price can give a little bit of sticker-shock, but these really are top of the line bags that you’ll get years of use out of. 10 out 10 stars…easily.