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The automatic Bike Dispenser -- like PEZ but good for you Posted Aug 15th 2007 9:41AM by Thomas Ricker Filed under: Transportation For those not familiar with portable-urban travel: that's a bicycle. In fact, it's one of several bicycles wedged inside this "Bike Dispenser" created by the Dutch-based (of course) design agency, Springtime. The concept has actually been floating around since 2005 in The Netherlands but it recently won the Spark Design & Architecture Award causing the world to take notice. The idea here is to offer these RFID-tagged bikes to riders in cities supporting bike rental or bike exchange programs. The garages then, would be conveniently scattered around places like train stations and tourist hot-spots to automagically dispense your new ride. This automated system has completed a pilot and is now being worked into the national OV-fiets (public transport bicycle) service in Holland which rents a bicycle for € 2.75 ($3.71) per 20 hours. Unfortunately, the Bike Dispenser relies upon a uniform bicycle design leaving it helpless to relieve the crushing mass of "parked" bicycles seen in Amsterdam and like-minded cities across Europe and Asia. Still, as a quick and dirty, eco-transport solution in-a-box, what's not to like?
I just received an automatic lease renewal notice from my building. They said they renewed it because they did not receive any notice of cancelation from me. However, they never sent me any notice asking me to decide whether or not to renew my lease. I know about the 3-month rule but I forgot and they did not remind me. I haven't talked to them about this yet (I plan to do it tomorrow) but I was wondering if there is any way I will be able to cancel the new lease term. Is there any law that protects me in this case? Most buildings I have lived in before send a letter asking whether I would like to renew the lease. I believe this building takes advantage of students who don't know the 3-month rule, because they have a $100 fee for lease transfer, so even if I find someone to take the lease, I will have to pay.
Toshiba's building a "Micro Nuclear" reactor for your garage? Posted Dec 19th 2007 11:40AM by Paul Miller Filed under: Household Alright, details are slim, and we really have no idea if Toshiba has any plans whatsoever to sell these nuclear reactors to consumers -- in fact, we hope it doesn't -- but it does seem like the company is well on its way to commercializing the design. Toshiba's Micro Nuclear reactors are designed to power a single apartment building or city block, and measure a mere 20-feet by 6-feet. The 200 kilowatt reactor is fully automatic and fail-safe, and is completely self-sustaining. It uses special liquid lithium-6 reservoirs instead of traditional control rods, and can last up to 40 years, making energy for about 5 cents per kilowatt hour. Toshiba has been testing the reactors since 2005, and hopes to install its first reactor in Japan in 2008, with marketing to Europe and America in 2009. Oh, and we lied: we totally want one of these in our garage. [Via Dvorak Uncensored]