The Traditional Parking Meter - Redesigned!!

The one thing I hate about driving a car is when i have to spend hours trying to find a parking spot. And finally, when I get one, it is a paid spot with a parking meter that gobbles up my quarters, and as luck would have it, I dig into my purse to find that I'm out of quarters!! Oh, how I'd love if these meters would start accepting credit cards!! That's a thought that crosses many minds several times a day, and one such mind belonged to Fred Mitschele, who figured out how to make money out of this simple thought.

In cities like New York and San Francisco, where parking is really hard to find, you see patrol cars taking rounds to find a car parked against an expired meter so they can immediately make money by issuing you a fine or a ticket. But in smaller cities, lots of such fines go unpaid, denting the pockets of such governments. On the other hand, customers are looking for an alternative form of payment for such meters, so they don't have to finish their dinner in a hurry before the 1-hour parking window expires.

Photo Violation Technologies, based in Vancouver, British Columbia, has found the perfect solution. The newly re-invented parking meter allows you to swipe a credit card rather than hunt for coins, and what's great is that you can leave your cell phone number with it, and it'll call you when your time is up, and also provide you with an option of putting additional time on the meter, without returning to your car!! And for those who take the law lightly, the PVM will take a photo of your car's license plate if you fail to pay your dues! Amazing and Perfect!! Just the way you need it. Now only if they figured out a way to park your cars too!!

Mitschele has partnered with IBM to finanace a $1 million trial, installing 300 PVM's in Niagara Falls, SFo and Vancouver. When the trial ends in July 2008, Mitschele hopes to make upto $200 million in 5 years. Not bad at all!!

Read more!

Extreme thrills - Zorbing

New Zealand has given birth to adventurous stuuf like bungee-jumping, flying-by-wire and jet skiing. The first person to conquer Mount Everest was a Kiwi too; so its no wonder that in their craving for thrills, the 2 natives Andrew Akers and Dwane van der Sluis come out with yet another bizarre activity called "Zorbing" which is sure to send an adrenaline rush!!

"Zorb" is basically a huge 3.2 meter inflatable transparent sphere made from PVC. The inside of the original zorb has 9 straps to keep the rider in place. So you are wearing a harness, and are tied to the periphery while you yourself experience as if you are floating. For the more adventurous people out there, you could also try the Hydro Zorbing, in which instead of a harness, you are cushioned by water. Once you're in, the fun really starts as the Zorb is launched down a hill and reaches speeds of up to 50km per hour, while you roll and bounce around inside. The clever bit is that there is an air cushion of two feet between you and the ground, so you are completely safe! And priced at about 30 dollars for 15-20 second ride, its a reasonably-priced thrill. If you are too chickened to go alone, the zorb has 2 compartments to take your 2 friends with you!

In the words of the founder (Akers) himself - "The experience is bizarre, funny and exhilarating. The most common reaction inside the Zorb is to be screaming with laughter - people exit from the Zorb with a massive smile on their faces and tears of laughter in their eyes."

There are permanent Zorb sites in Europe, Asia, Australia and of course New Zealand. its a sport that is picking up as it affords a new set of thrills. So if you aim to be an astronaut, but that seems too far-fetched, I bet being a zorbonaut would come close!!

Read more!

A Software that converts your thoughts to code??!!

21st century has seen many developments and advances in the way things are done, and the amount of gadgets and innovations flooding the markets everyday is amazing! And till now, people used to bow in respect to the software developers who created this magic, generating software programs that go into these revolutionary "objects" and make our life simpler and fascinating. But I was seriously shocked, (surprised, astonished, wide-eyed, etc etc) when I read about this product - a software that writes by itself!!

The famous inventor of Microsoft Word and Excel, Charles Simonyi, has come out with his new innovation, the "Intentional Software", slated to be released probably by this fall, is a software so smart that you can simply tell it what you want and it'll write the code for you. Hurray!! everyone does not need to be a programmer anymore!! Simonyi and his startup have been working on this for 7 years. it centers on Domain Workbench, a human-language graphically friendly representation of the software as it is built.. Users can write clear instructions in text, spreadsheet or flowchart describing what they want the software to do (basic logic), which is then sent to a code-generator, and the latter spews out lines of code to build the application. f course, human engineers are still needed to help set up the programming language and tweak for some changes. But still, the major load is taken care of. For further details, visit

This could prove to be the next generation of software programming, and a boon to solve business problems, but will it be successful? People are skeptical about Simonyi's ideas, and yet you'll also find strong supporters who believe this could change the standards of technology by removing human errors or "bugs".

What happens, is for you and me to see, but till then, I think we'll just revel in this fantastic tech innovation!

Read more!

Do you suffer from Jet Lag?? Then FlyRight is for you!!

As technology makes the world a smaller place and global revolution extends your business beyond the borders of your city, country or continent, we see more and more people travelling around the world for work or pleasure trips. Tourism and technology cannot function without air travel, and though planes are being converted into more luxurious ways to travel, the cross-overs from one time zone to another is always a pain. A 10-hr or longer flight induces jet Lag, no matter whether you travel in economy or business class. And if you are expected to attend 3 conferences in 3 countries within a span of a week to 10 days, imagine what that would do to your body and mind!!??

But if you have tried all the over-the-counter drugs and concoctions and have still not found something to alleviate this problem, you have probably not tried "FlyRight"(patent pending). People who have used it say that one teaspoon of this tonic with half a cup of water, repeated several times a day, can act as a fool-proof remedy against Jet-Lag. And as it is a herbal tonic in an alcohol tincture, it comes with absolutely NO Side effects!! It is also affordably priced at $20 per 1-oz bottle, and if this keeps you energetic and running on your hectic schedule so that you don't sleep in your meetings or don't waste 3 days of your precious vacation, I think the price is worth it!! For more information visit

I'm going to try this on my next trip to India. How about you???

Read more!