Bright Ideas

Vending Machine Sells Ideas

Helping readers take blogs offline, Zinepal lets any user convert their favourite online content into ebooks and printable, magazine-style PDFs. [via]

Mix-ins have been a staple in many ice cream shops for years already, allowing customers near infinite possibilities in designing their own creamy confection. Now bringing comparable potential to the world of cookies is Toronto's Sweet Flour Bake Shop, which lets patrons design their own baked treats and eat them fresh from the oven just two minutes later. [via]

Premium ice-cream is a highly sophisticated food category that doesn't shy away from unusual flavours. But none of these stray quite as far from plain vanilla as an x-rated gelato by The Icecreamists that's touted to have the same charge as a dose of Viagra. [via]

It used to be that hiring sites focused primarily on objective information about the jobs they listed. Then the transparency movement set in, and sites like CareerTours, MedRecruit, Glassdoor and KODA increasingly began including more subjective considerations. Now continuing in that vein comes GetaGreatBoss, a South African site that aims to help workers find great bosses. [via]

Whether it's a consumer product or a piece of music, there's much to be said for allowing fans to have a say in how it's designed and marketed. Just as Dutch media entrepreneur John de Mol turned to the crowds last year for help creating the next reality-show hit, so brand-new site Genero.tv is relying on music fans to create the next winning videos for a variety of participating bands. [via]

Long gone are the days of boring mugs and faded postcards, as museums and other cultural institutions have become increasingly savvy retailers. Aiming to build on that strength, CultureLabel showcases products from over 60 galleries, museums and other cultural entities, 'exploring the space where culture and consumer culture meets'. [via]

Street Sign Table

Real-time price search has arrived, and with it some unexpected bonus features for consumers. German site Apnoti claims to have the first search engine to index prices for the German, American and French markets in real time. Currently in beta launch, the engine crawls over 65 million items in more than 10,000 affiliated stores for each and every search request, presenting users with a comparison of products' price trends over the past four weeks and current prices, accurate (in theory) to the past few seconds. Apnoti differentiates itself from other price comparison services which usually rely on daily updates by their operators, claiming that these services cannot cope with the price fluctuations that often occur throughout the day. [via]

A new crowdsourced initiative invites fans to remake Star Wars. People can sign up on Star Wars: Uncut to recreate up to three of the 1,313 fifteen-second clips that make up the epic space film. They then have 30 days to film and upload their segment before the slot is offered to someone else. The 337 contributions submitted so far range from live action and animation to stop motion and cardboard shadow-puppetry. Submissions can be viewed on Star Wars: Uncut, side-by-side with the original. Eventually, the site's administrator—Casey Pugh, a Vimeo staff member—will stitch all of the pieces together, letting the project reach its ultimate goal of recreating the entire movie. [via]

The internet may have given music fans unprecedented access to the world's music, but finding it in any kind of organized way can be a challenge. Now providing a location-based approach comes CitySounds.fm, a music browser that streams the latest music of the world, city by city. [via]

Just a few weeks ago we wrote about My Fashion Plate, a wardrobe management community for clothes hounds. While a variety of features are available on that site—including even personal shopping services—Looklet is a new contender that focuses exclusively on the design end with a virtual studio through which users can mix and match real designer clothes. [via]

Air quality is a matter of urgent concern to residents of most large cities, and Paris is no exception. There are currently only 10 public sensors monitoring that important variable in the City of Lights, however, so a new initiative now aims to equip everyday citizens with a special device that can measure and report air-quality data regularly for collective use.
The Green Watch, or La Montre Verte, is a specially equipped device worn on the wrist that includes not just a time piece but also a GPS chip, a Bluetooth chip, and ozone and noise sensors. At scheduled times—or on request of the wearer—the watch measures and saves air-quality and noise data, describing them in qualitative terms such as "good" or "bad." [via]

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André Balazs