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Give that building a sustainable new skin

If you travel in certain circles, “tower skin” is a name for a vinyl slipcover one can use to dress up a drab computer desktop tower. In other circles, the term has come to describe a skin with a similar function, although for a slightly more ambitious goal: sustainable public architecture. The latter kind of skin is a mesh textile “transparent cocoon” that can slip over the top of and effectively “re-skin” a building to not only improve its aesthetics but also, according to architects from the Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA), act as a “micro climate” that generates energy with photo‐voltaic cells, collects rain water, improves day lighting and uses available convective energy to power the towers’ ventilation requirements.” The skin has not yet gone beyond “concept land,” as Gizmodo put it, but if the architects have their way the prototype would cover the University of Technology Broadway Tower in Sydney, Australia. Chris Bosse, […]

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Use your Blackberry to get your laptop online

If someone told you could get Internet service on your laptop without connecting to a Wi-Fi hotspot, purchasing a cellular Internet card, or paying additional fees through your Blackberry’s wireless network you’d want to know the catch, as well as the cost. The only catch is that you need to already have a Blackberry with a flat-rate data plan, the USB cable that came with it, and fifty bucks. That’s how much it’ll cost you to download Tether, an app that once installed on both your Blackberry and laptop, will permit you to tether the two devices with the USB cable and start surfing the Web on your laptop. Seriously. It works. Simply connect the two devices with the cable – make sure your laptop’s wireless card is disabled, because you won’t need it – and fire up the app on both devices. Status windows on both will acknowledge the connection and you’ll be ready […]

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