Wi-fi sensor gives your dying plants a voice to plead for help

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Is you plant smiling or dying?

If you’ve been using Koubachi’s iOS app to remember when it’s time to water your plants, the company’s new wireless sensor will give your greenery an even better fighting chance of survival if you’re lacking a green thumb.

Whereas the app used your location, the local soil conditions, and the type of plant to make an educated guess as to when it needed watering, misting, or fertilization. Koubachi’s new Wi-fi plant sensor takes the guesswork out of the equation, automatically measuring moisture, temperature, and light…

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Five signs coworking is a good idea for you

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The Vault

The traditional office has become less important as more people work via mobile phone and a laptop computer, and coworking is becoming a popular alternative.  Members get many of the benefits of office life — a community, a work environment, and meeting spaces — without giving up the freedom of working on their own schedules.

 

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Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color Takes on Amazon’s Kindle

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Which e-reader will come out on top?

In December 2009, brick-and-mortar book-selling powerhouse Barnes & Noble got into the e-reader game, two years after Amazon.com’s Kindle jump-started the category. Its Nook had some distinguishing characteristics: you navigated the interface using a tiny color touchscreen that sat under its black-and-white E Ink display, for instance, and could loan out e-books to Nook-owning pals. Mostly, though, the gizmo felt like a twist on the Kindle formula, not a departure from it — and while it may have been fancier, it was also pokier and glitchier.

 

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Study: WiFi Makes Trees Sick

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City trees are becoming sick from wireless radiation from local area networks and mobile phones.

Radiation from Wi-Fi networks is harmful to trees, causing significant variations in growth, as well as bleeding and fissures in the bark, according to a recent study in the Netherlands. Radiation from Wi-Fi networks is harmful to trees, causing significant variations in growth, as well as bleeding and fissures in the bark, according to a recent study in the Netherlands.

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How to Stay Safe on Public Wi-Fi Networks

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Stay Safe in Public
Starbucks is offering free Wi-Fi to all customers, at every location, starting today. Whether you’re clicking connect on Starbucks’ Wi-Fi or some other unsecured, public Wi-Fi network, here’s how to stay safe and secure while surfing a public hotspot.Just because most wireless routers have a firewall to protect you from the internet doesn’t mean you’re protected from others connected to the same network. Lots of wireless hotspots these days are completely unencrypted, usually so they’re easier to connect to (baristas don’t need to be giving out the internet password to everyone that walks in). However, this leaves you unprotected against malicious users in the same coffee shop, so there are a few settings you should always make sure to tweak when you’re connected to a public network…

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A Plan To Cover All of Africa With Wi-Fi Access

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A vision of Africa covered with WIFI

Paul English is the entrepreneur who created Kayak.com, a commercially successful travel website. He has a plan to provide the entire continent of Africa with Wi-Fi access in the hope of spurring economic development there:

English plans to kick off the nonprofit/for-profit hybrid this summer and begin creating partnerships between JoinAfrica and local African for-profit telcos. JoinAfrica would first branch out existing Web connections in villages using, for example, simple WiMAC hubs. Through these hubs, JoinAfrica would provide residents with free basic Web service, including access to email, Google, Wikipedia, and various news sources…

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Favorite Freebies Among Airport Travelers

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Wifi is the favorite airport freebie

Burdened by the stress of travel and escalating fees and taxes, frequent fliers appreciate free services and amenities showing up at airports.Freebies aren’t plentiful at many airports. But those that are — even simple ones such as electrical outlets to plug in laptops or comfy chairs to sit in while waiting for a flight — can come in handy or simply make a trip easier to take.

 

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RCA Airnergy Charges Gadgets with Nothing But Wifi Signals

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Forget PowerMats and wireless charging and the like, because the Airnergy wi-fi signal harvester is my new front runner for the future of gadget charging.It’s not exactly new tech, as ohGizmo notes, but it’s the first application that’s of any real use to consumers. Put simply, Airnergy takes the energy created by wi-fi signals and stores it in a rechargeable battery. At CES, the device’s battery, which we believe was precharged with Wi-Fi power, was able to charge a BlackBerry from 30% power to full power in about 90 minutes.

(video after jump…)

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HSTi Wireless Media Stick Nixes The Need For Dedicated Storage Drives

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Storage With A Twist
The banners aren’t even officially up in Vegas yet, and already we’re catching a drift of what all will be unveiled in the days to come. Take this Wireless Media Stick for example, which is HSTi’s way of telling you that a dedicated storage drive beside your Blu-ray player or media player is completely unnecessary. Put simply, this device (and the accompanying software, we presume) plugs directly into any USB-enabled disc player or media streamer that’s connected to your television; from there, you can easily stream media that’s already shacked up within your main PC to your TV-connected device(s), which cures the problem of having your media fragmented between varying drives.
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