Bits & Bytes
Or You Could Use a Pay Phone
Relief is near for those who fear wireless phones cause cancer. Wavelength Technologies in New Rochelle, N.Y., is introducing $59.95 wireless-phone cases that Chief Executive David Reitberger says can absorb up to 99% of the radiation the phones produce.
The secret: Nickel-polyester mesh sewn into the leather. That covers most of the phone, while see-through mesh drapes the display and keypad. Another component runs alongside the antenna, which is the largest source of cell-phone radiation. The product was created in Britain by Microshield Industries PLC, which sold U.S. distribution rights to Wavelength. About 200,000 covers have been sold outside the U.S. They fit 70 models of wireless phones.
The wireless industry has always insisted that its products are safe, but Wavelength was founded because of Reitberger's fears about his own wireless phone. He wondered if he was being hurt by the long hours he used it during a stint as a consultant. "I'd rather be safe than sorry," Berger says. If others agree, it certainly won't be the first time that uncertainty has bred opportunity.Edited by Steve RosenbushReturn to top
How to Do Everything
Not sure how to truss that thanksgiving turkey or prepare a pan gravy? Try www.ehow.com, which features 254 how-to articles to help prepare for Thanksgiving. And that's not all: The site has more than 7,500 articles on essential, if sometimes obscure, tasks from tying a bow tie to getting a mortgage.
It all started because Courtney Rosen couldn't find online information about fixing her in-line skates. The 32-year-old former Andersen Consulting manager searched the Web in vain last January for instructions on how to rotate her wheels. From that futile quest, eHow was born. After raising $3.5 million in funding last March, the San Francisco startup went live in August. eHow gets most of its revenues from advertisers. But eventually, Rosen aims to get about 60% of sales from commissions on business eHow refers to such sites as Amazon.com, Williams-Sonoma, and eBay. For example, someone who asks eHow about making a roux might go to Williams-Sonoma to buy a whisk, and eHow could get paid for such leads. Top venture investors like the idea. But as with Thanksgiving, the proof will be in the pudding.By Andy Reinhardt; Edited by Steve RosenbushReturn to top
A Place to Put All Those Bright Ideas
Do you have notebooks full of scribbled ideas or a mondo Word file called "stuff" where you store stray factoids? A new software tool called eGems may help. Sold for $60, eGems tags each "gem" of information with its source, date, and location. That makes it easier to confirm facts or quotes later, to use them in reports with proper attribution, or to share them.
Here's how it works: Highlight the text of an interesting tidbit from the Web and drag the cursor over to an eGem icon on the screen. The software automatically notes the Web address. It also can sort and store graphics, and words that don't come from the Web, such as memos from a colleague. eGems organizes each "gem" by subject or other criteria. To use a tidbit, drag it into a document and eGem creates a footnote and a bibliographical entry. Researchers like the idea: San Francisco State University aims to buy hundreds of copies.
eGems' creator, Gemteq Software Inc. in Novato, Calif., says the program will be available for download from its Web site by month's end.By Andy Reinhardt; Edited by Steve RosenbushReturn to top