Charge your gadgets on the move

Had enough of wires and sockets? Here are the latest, more elegant, ways to power your gadgets

Scientists are trying to ensure you don’t have to be anxious about that dreaded beep that signals a low battery or, worse, dead battery in your smartphone. In future, you may be able to charge your device simply by putting it in a low powered pocket, or picking up energy kernels from the environment or the sun. Till then, here are ways you can charge your phone without those ugly black wires showing.

Tylt Energi Sliding Power Case

How about a sliding power case that also charges your phone, protecting it while it does so? Tylt, a US-based company that specializes in phone accessories, has come up with a sliding power case that comes with built-in Qi wireless charging. The case has a 3,400 mAh removable battery and also has a USB available for charging and syncing from other sources. The charger comes for selected iPhones and Galaxy handsets.

Buy it: $49.99-79.99 (Rs.3,200-5,200) on; shipping charges extra.

Bold Knot

Two Palestinian university students have designed an innovative phone charger made of yarn. Called Bold Knot, the charger, which comes with an internal battery, can be attached to your key chain and can give up to 3 hours of charge. It’s two times faster than a regular charger and can also be used as a USB connection between a phone and a computer. The cable is made of strong rope to give it flexibility and the design is sigh-worthy. The charger has already been funded five times over at crowdfunding website Indiegogo in July, though you can still order one there. The Knot’s available for both iOS and Android.

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Low-cost superfoods

Get healthy on less than Rs10 a day with these nutrient-packed foods.

Superfoods don’t necessarily have to be expensive or exotic. Many of these healthy foods are readily available at affordable prices. Here’s a list of foods that are loaded with nutrients and don’t cost much.
Watermelon: Rs.3* for 100g
This fruit, which is about 92% water, has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, as well as citrulline and lycopene. Citrulline, an amino acid, helps in reducing hypertension and blood pressure in obese adults, according to a study published in the ‘American Journal Of Hypertension’ in 2012. Both vitamins A and C in the fruit moisturize skin and hair, prevent wrinkles and keep you hydrated. Lycopene, which gives the fruit its bright red colour, can help prevent prostate cancer, according to a study published in 2013 in the ‘International Journal Of Molecular Sciences’. “The pigment lycopene’s antioxidant properties provide protection against cancer,” says Shikha Sharma, founder of health management centre Nutri-Health Systems Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi. It has also been linked to heart and bone health and has anti-inflammatory properties. Fibre in the fruit keeps the digestive tract healthy. The potassium content helps control heart rate and blood pressure, adds Sharma.
Turmeric: 25 paise/1gphoto
This spice is one of the most effective ways to fight infections. Curcumin, the compound that gives turmeric its canary- yellow colour, is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. According to a study published in ‘The American Journal Of Cardiology’ in 2012, curcumin can help prevent heart attack among bypass patients. “Curcumin leads to several changes at the molecular level that may help prevent cancer and fight age-related chronic diseases,” says Shubi Husain, nutritionist and founder of healthcare clinic Health Sanctuary in Gurgaon, Haryana. The study added that turmeric keeps the heart healthy when taken in moderation. A gram of turmeric a day is an ideal, says Husain.
Red chillies: 20 paise / 1g


Looking for an effective way to lose weight? Spice up your food with dried red chillies. Researchers at Purdue University, US, found that consuming red pepper not only helps in managing ones appetite but also burns more calories after a meal. The study was published in the ‘Physiology & Behavior’ journal in 2011. It observed 25 non-overweight people for six weeks and found that capsaicin, the component that gives the chilli its bite, can reduce hunger and increase the core body temperature and burn more calories through natural energy expenditure. The chilli should be consumed whole, because the taste maximizes the digestive process, according to Richard Mattes, professor of foods and nutrition, Purdue University, who collaborated with doctoral student Mary-Jon Ludy for the study. “That burn in your mouth contributes to a rise in body temperature, energy expenditure and appetite control,” said Mattes in a university press release.
Mustard oil: Rs.2.5 / 20ml


This vegetable oil is not only good for your hair, but also aids digestion. According to a study published in the ‘Journal Of Preventive Cardiology’ in 2012, which compared all cooking oils in India, including canola, ‘ghee’, olive oil, groundnut, sunflower and palm oil, and their effects on the heart, mustard oil was found to be the best. Conducted by researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi, the study stated that mustard oil is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. “Mustard oil has a good ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats,” says Ruia. “It is also packed with antioxidants and vitamin E,” she adds.
Read the complete article on the livemint website.

Relationships on the run

Forget pubs, cafés, golf courses and cinema theatres. Dating, therapy, networking—it’s all happening as you sprint to fitness

Two years ago, Genieve Bodiwala saw Sandesh Shukla, 31, at a runner’s bash in Mumbai and fell in love. “I knew I wanted to marry him at that moment. From then on, I plotted to make him fall for me,” says the 32-year-old, who has participated in one marathon and 13 half marathons. Since they were both passionate about running, all she had to do was join the same running group, Mumbai Road Runners (, and then create a subgroup on WhatsApp to coordinate drills, go on treks, and spend time with him and a few other friends. “One day, while we were running, I asked him out,” says Bodiwala. Shukla and Bodiwala, who got married in December, did a 4-hour trek and a short run on Yala beach, Sri Lanka, the day after their wedding to celebrate.



Running, the new hangout activity, not only helps bring couples together but also keeps them together. A few years after their marriage, Bengaluru-based Jyothsna Reddy Bathula, 31, and Rahul Tripuraneni, 34, got busy with children, work deadlines and Tripuraneni’s parents, who live with them. “We just didn’t have enough time for each other,” says Tripuraneni. “At one point, we were worried about our relationship.” The couple decided to do something and zeroed in on running, since “Bangalore as a city is so pro-running”. For more than six months now, they’ve been getting up early and running 5km together while their three- and six-year-olds play in the park. “We are fitter, more energetic and spend time talking to each other,” says Bathula.

For many youngsters who are moving cities, running is a way to meet new people. Jay Ashar, 29, who works in the field of knowledge management, moved from Hyderabad to Mumbai. “Shikhsha Shah, a colleague from Hyderabad who had moved at the same time, asked me to join running and I did,” he says. It was during the long training periods prepping for a marathon, and volunteering activities, that Ashar got to know Shah better. “I used to take a train from Dombivali to Powai on Sundays just to train with her. If it hadn’t been for running, Shikhsha would’ve remained a colleague. Now we’re best friends,” he says.


Giridhar Ramachandran, who has been studying social groups like running clubs at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, since 2013 as part of his doctoral research at the department of management studies, compares these groups to gali nukkads. These spaces, which have all but disappeared from the big cities, allowed people to meet, away from home and work. “Running clubs, a recent phenomenon, are the new nukkads,” says the 40-year-old. “In these spaces we don’t play a specific role, of an employee or a spouse, but are just there.” Ramachandran, who has interviewed people from various groups in Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune, says these clubs work as support groups too. Continue reading “Relationships on the run”

Twitter toes the line

The redesign of the microblogging site reflects the changing user profile of social networks—but the look is very similar to that of its competitors
In February, for the first time in Twitter’s history, chief executive officer Dick Costolo acknowledged that Twitter needed to reach a larger and more varied audience. “By bringing the content of Twitter forward and pushing the scaffolding of the language of Twitter to the background, we can increase high-quality interactions and make it more likely that new or casual users will find the service as indispensable as our existing core users do,” Costolo announced at a meeting with investors.
The aim, he explained, was to create more visually engaging content. This was reflected in the announcement on changes in a user’s profile page on Twitter’s official blog ( a week ago. The new profile allows for a huge, rectangular cover photo, a profile picture, with the capability to pin a tweet to the top, checking the favourite tweets of a user, or showing the most retweeted tweet in a bigger, easier-to-read font. The visual design changes also give the user the power to upload multiple pictures in a single tweet, making it all the more obvious that Twitter believes going visual is the way to survive the social networking game. The design of the Twitter profile page, however, now looks eerily similar to the Facebook and Google+ profiles.

Going mainstream

According to a November report by Business Insider Intelligence, a research service from business news website Business Insider, Facebook is the dominant social networking platform with 1.23 billion users worldwide, with YouTube following closely at one billion users. Twitter has a mere 241 million users worldwide, not even close to the two “mass” social networks.

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Great gadgets for the traveller

Whether it’s a computer-in-a-wristband, a fleece jacket with 23 pockets or a sound system that uses solar panels, these gadgets can add that extra zing




This nifty device can work wonders for travellers who have to go without Internet’s cloud services and miss the computer back home. StormFly is a handy computer-in-a-wristband which comes with storage space and a bootable open-source OS based on Linux. All you need to do is find a system (most PCs and Macs should work) and plug in StormFly in its USB port. The device will show all your application programs and files. When you are finished using it, simply plug it off and shut down the computer. There will be no file leftovers in the computer you used. Since it’s encrypted, the stored data can’t be accessed by anyone else if you lose the bracelet—a beautiful orange-colour wristband. StormFly also offers cloud back-up of your wrist-computer. The product was successfully funded by crowdsourcing website Kickstarter recently and will start shipping in April.

$59* (around Rs.3,200) at

CamelBak All Clear


This 750ml water bottle not only stores drinking water but also zaps all bacteria using UV technology, powered with a USB cable connected to your laptop. An extra pre-filter ($15) will make sure that all the flotsam and sediments are caught and trapped and you get clean, healthy drinking water on the go. The smart bottle will tell you when the water is ready to drink with an LCD display on the cap.

$99 at

Oakley Airwave

Track your descent analytics, incoming calls or text messages as you ski down a slope. The Oakley Airwave is a statistics-full ski-goggle with sensors, including an accelerometer, barometer, GPS, Bluetooth and gyro. As you slope it downwards, the goggle displays all kinds of statistics, including altitude and temperature, on the right-hand side corner of your vision, somewhat like the Terminator all those years back. If you don’t feel futuristic enough, get back online after your descent and see a detailed, second-by-second analysis of your course. The gadget visor comes with Oakley’s promise of moisture-wicking, anti-fog technology, triple-layer polar fleece foam for comfort and glasses that filter out the ultraviolet rays.

$599.95 at

Scottevest Fleece 7.0

The Fleece 7.0 is a warm, fashionable fleece jacket which comes with a whopping 23 different pockets for all kinds of electronic gadgets. There is the Quick Draw pocket, which allows you to access your smartphone on the go through a see-through fabric in the side pocket, so you don’t even need to take the phone out. Another trick addition is a hidden pocket for a tablet, a pocket for eyeglasses made of a soft cloth, and a zippered pocket for travel documents. Then there are pockets for a bottle, camera and pen. In case you forget what is where, there’s a map of every pocket. Aren’t you already wishing it was cold enough to wear this?

$160 at



Taking the rage of live action cameras a step further, the Contour+2 is a cylindrical-shaped camera that lets you record up to 120FPS videos in four different modes, including 1080p HD. It comes with a handy on-record switch, a 270-degree rotating lens, a laser beam to show you the direction of the camera, a waterproof case and a huge variety of mounts. If that’s not enough, it ensures that you record all the statistics, whether you are rafting or in the sky, with a built-in Bluetooth and a GPS receiver which can track speed, elevation and distance. Connect it to a smartphone to adjust camera settings and to preview your shot. Since the audio jack is external, expect good voice quality too.

$399.99 at

BioLite CampStove

There’s nothing like hot soup on a camping night out. Replace the tiresome work of making your own campfire with a swanky orange-coloured BioLite CampStove. The stove comes with low fire output in less than a kilogram of weight and uses the twigs you collect, instead of gas or petroleum, to cook. While the food’s cooking, the stove can also recharge your phone, light and other USB-chargeable devices.

$129.95 at


Eton Rugged Rukus

Rukus is a Bluetooth sound system meant to be taken outdoors with you. It uses solar panels to power the speakers, and to charge a lithium battery so you can use it indoors too…

Read the complete article at Livemint.