Link Roundup: Feb. 9, 2005

Plugging in hybrids
The idea is simple. Give gasoline-electric hybrids the option to run in electric-only mode. You could plug in and charge up your car if you want to, and you wouldn’t burn any gas on those quick trips to the grocery store or to work and back (assuming you don’t live very far from work). Toyota doesn’t want to admit that customers would love a plug-in hybrid. It’s probably because their marketing team has been so focused on the idea that “you never need to plug-in for recharging“. This idea is too good to pass up, even if it takes a few years for the auto industry to admit it.

Blogging over hyped?
Jack Shafer of Slate makes a decent argument that blogs are over hyped. By comparing blogs to the personal video camera and other new technologies, he says that the existing media industries will adapt and not be overrun by blogs. I’m pretty sure he’s halfway right. True, radio didn’t go away when TV hit the scene, but people don’t exactly turn on the radio and plop down in the recliner when they get home either. Blogs aren’t going to kill TV and the newspapers, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t going to change the world either.

One Bag
If you’re looking for tips on how to pack lighter when traveling, this site is a great start. Jesse and I lived out of one duffel bag each on our trip to Europe. We only stayed for nine days, but with what we had in those bags would could have stayed for a month. Packing light makes it so much easier to get around and actually travel.

Solar Cell for the Blind
Doctors are testing a new procedure to restore sight to the blind. By inserting a chip with thousands of tiny solar cells, they are able to replace the functionality of a diseased retina. The procedure is still in early testing, and they’ll need to drastically increase the number of light sensors to give people anything near normal sight. It’s still cool to watch the progress of science and technology.