A survey by Wakefield Research reveals that most American consumers are still in the dark about LEDs, so Ikea has made it the company's mission to enlighten them by selling lighting products that are LED-only. The bold initiative is being rolled out over time. Ikea's goal is to switch its full lighting range to 100 percent LEDs by 2016, which means the furniture store will sell only LED bulbs and LED lamps.
When we review something, we assign a verdict based on the strengths and weaknesses of that product relative to the other products in its field. When there are no other products in that field, things get a little weird.
Such is the case with the Cyborg Gaming Lights, the latest member in the rapidly expanding family of Mad Catz PC gaming peripherals. This pair of lights uses amBX ambient technology to enhance gaming. It's a little hard to visualize the Gaming Lights without seeing them in action, but the effect is actually surprisingly pleasing.
Were only every download as fun as Network Lights. Seriously. This week's download of the week isn't going to transform your computing experience, speed up your PC, or otherwise give you any additional details about your system's operations beyond that which you already have. Sort-of.
As I've mentioned in past posts, one of the critical omissions of the Windows 7 operating system is its brazen elimination of the useful network activity icon from the lower-right corner of your screen. This tiny bit of your Windows desktop, no larger than a little icon on your taskbar, provided you a wealth of information at a glance. Immediately, you could look at the icon and see if your network connection was sending or receiving information--a useful troubleshooting tool if, in fact, no light was blinking. Hovering your mouse over the icon would deliver a complete summary of all the bits and bytes of data you've sent or received since the last reset of your PC.
That's about it.
But still, useful features given that the exact same icon sits in the Windows 7 taskbar... without any of the blinking and without any of the summary features found on its predecessor. Although Network Lights doesn't do much to assist with the latter, its ability to transform your keyboard into a working version of the network activity icon is two parts fun, one part useful.
Lock manufacturer Schlage is about to roll out Schlage Link, an assortment of web-controlled locks, lights and thermostats. The package allows a person to control these devices using an internet-enabled cellphone or computer. Schlage Link is designed to operate in concert with Webcams. However, the product elicits a bit of skepticism as such attempts in recent times have met with little success.
There are three ways to open the lock, using a key, by entering a four-digit code, or through a web interface. It constantly relays information to the owners and alerts them if it suspects something fishy. Schlage Link’s price is not what people might be willing to pay with a smile. It carries a price tag of $299 besides a monthly fee of $12.99.
More than just the light of the future, LEDs are emerging in the here and now, and not just small markets either. New York City's Department of Transportation has contracted with the Office for Visual Interaction (OVI), a lighting design group, to test pilot LED street lighting. If the test goes well, it could lead to all 300,000 of NYC's street lamps being replaced with LED versions.
But it's not just the lamps that are getting overhauled, but the pole design as well. The OVI contract calls for a complete redesign, one which will like take on a sleek look with dedicated channels to hang various decorations.
The $1.175 million contract is expected to result in a payback period of two to three years for each pole replaced, along with a 25 to 30 percent power reduction. But the real savings will only come if the test proves successful. The initial demonstration will replace just six street lamps, with the testing period lasting until fall of next year.