Tag Archives: goal zero

My travel kit

5 Jul

My travel kit
I am a frequent flyer and I’m packing again for a 5-days trip abroad, don’t like packing … I always forget something, always! It’s a rule, so lets make the exception and at least help you pack the “survival kit” and forget what you can easily buy at destination.

1. The hardware.
Cables and chargers.
photo-9You will of course bring your chargers and adapter with you BUT if, like me, you have 1 blackberry, 1 iPhone, 1 iPad, a Fuelband, …
You already need 3 plugs and you’ll have to search the room for plugs, unplug lights to charge your devices, scatter them across the room.
I don’t like to have my phones scattered across my hotel room!
So I bring with me my Belkin with 3 electric plugs and 2 USB plugs.
This is handy and you will gather  all your electronic devices in the same area so you don’t forget them when you leave your hotel.

Especially when you travel you need power. Power to charge your phone or camera or computer while visiting new countries and taking so many pictures.

Photo 27-06-13 11 57 51 AMI always carry my Guide10 or Sherpa50 depending my needs. Usually a Guide10 will be enought, but if you need to charge 2 phones, 2 cameras on the fly better go for the Sherpa50.
I also bring the solar panel that I tie to my backpack while walking, so I can charge my charger during my busy working day and enjoy free-from-plug charging.

2. The software, the travel apps.
Worldmate app will accompany you from the booking to the landing of your plane at destination. Delay, changes of gates, … You’ll be able to communicate the details of your trip (departure, arrival, gate, …) and if you want share it with friends (twitter, facebook) and LinkedIn contacts (no worries, you have the option to keep your trip private too), you can.
Currency convertor, tips calculator are included as well as weather forecast at destination and local searches are available thanks to Yelp!

You are not a star in languages and you didn’t take French or Japanese as 2nd language?
Don’t stress, great translator apps are out there ready to help you.
Of course there will be mistakes and it’s not perfect but you’ll get understood and your iPhone will become your personal translator.
Try Google translate, type or just say the sentence you want to translate and let it do it’s magic.
Lots of languages available, easy to use, and handy to read the translation.

Also, if you want to understand the local newspaper, give a try to Pixter which will scan the article and translate in to own mother tongue! Impressive results!

Need a cab? Get a personal driver with the Uber app!
Don’t book in advance, just on demand.
The closest car will pull down in front of you.
Prepaid fare and invoiced to your mail (no surprise with the price), you’ll receive a text on your phone to alert you when your driver (professional taxi driver) is there. You’ll love it ! Alittle bit more expensive than with a regular cab, but better driving and service.
PS: Uber works with iPhone, Android, web and even SMS (Canada and USA only).
The countries covered are France (Paris, Lyon and Cannes), UK (London), Australia (Melbourne and Sidney), USA, Italy (Rome, Milan), Sweden (Stockholm), Canada (Toronto), Germany (Berlin), The Netherlands (Amsterdam).

Passwords? Your passwords, bank cards details, and passports number will be always on you with the Dashlane app.
Lets say you lost you passport, your bank cards have been stolen, … You need to access your emails from a computer in a cyber cafe and don’t remember your password or credit cards numbers? Just launch the Dashlane app and all of your important informations will always be within reach, you got yourself an eVault! Free trial than 17,99euros a year.

The convertor
Centimetres into inches? Kmh into mph? Degrees Celsius in degrees Fahrenheit? You never got it? You are not the only one!
With Measures app, this is all a bad dream.

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3. Also don’t forget …

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a Knife.
Great to open a carton box, cut food or defend yourself. Don’t need a big one, I have a keyring Curve knife by Gerber  that comes with screw drivers and bottle opener.
Be aware that small knifes are allowed again on planes by TSA but I prefer to put it safely in my checked-in bags.

many Karabiners.
Great to hang my solar panel to my backpack or to my office balcony, but also great to tie your backpack to the chair you are sitting on so no shoplifter runs away with it or simply to hang the keys of your b’n’b. I use the S-Biner (lots of sizes, colors and durable).

a Rope.
Coming in the shape of a good looking and customisable survival strap, you will now always carry a rope with you. Ready to be unravelled when needed (hang your laundry while camping, tie stuff together, …).

a Drinking bottle.
Photo 25-06-13 7 02 55 AMAlways stay hydrated thanks to your vey own bottle that you carry with you wherever you go.
Klean Kanteen, Bladder bottles are great.
Brita bottle or Purificup bring added value with their filter. Brita bottle will take away the bad taste of tap water while Purificup will let you drink safely the water in the river, … Killing more than 800 bacteria thanks to its filter.

Nice to have, a sleeve for your bottle to keep it warm or cold.
I love the Built-in ones or the the Greenspan ones.

And of course, a flash light. Check the key ring size Swipe to Shine by Niteize.

I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, this should be your basic kit and you could face whatever situation.
Now travel safely and dont hesitate to share your travel tips with us 😉

Happy holiday!

Enlight me

19 May

Photo 7-04-13 8 34 14 PMBooks are way in, its not all about eBooks!
When you read a book, the light is important so I decided to bench 3 portable lights that you might like.

1. The supposed to be handy 2-LEDs bookmark by Moleskine, the Luna by GoalZero and the WakaWaka light.Photo 7-04-13 8 34 56 PM (HDR)
The 2-LEDs Bookmark is easy to charge through an incorporate USB
It’s also a bookmark which is a great idea.
But, and designed to be used as a bookmark too, it sounded like a great idea.
Testing it was not so fun, not a great beam, only lightning one page at a time.

 ChaseIt because
. It’s a one in two tool: a bookmark and a reading light

BChased because
. It only lights up one page at a time, can’t flip the page
. It’s not really handy, doesn’t hold straight
. The light is more blinding you than it lights up the page you read
. It’s too expensive (20euros)

2. The Luna by GoalZero, is a 10-led light powered by a computer, an handy Switch 8 or a usb plug.
The beam is way larger and it’s easy to direct the light thanks to its flexible and bendable cord to wrap it around object to secure it.
ChaseIt because it’s handy and useful and it’s a great value 9,90$

3. The WakaWaka Solar Lamp, a 2 leds-light powered by the sun.
Basically it has been designed to replace the oil lamp the people use when they don’t have electricity at home (it prevents fire, and burn injuries).
One full solar charge will give you
. 8 hours of bright ambient light
. 16 hours of bright reading light
. 80 hours of soft night safety light
It can only be charged by the sun, no sun no light. I use it home a night light.

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1. The Moleskine Bookmark
2. The GoalZero lumina mounted on the Switch 8 charger
3. The WakaWaka light

Going solar? Why?

11 May

I discovered solar energy and mobile solar products a couple of months ago thanks to GoalZero company.
Photo 20-04-13 10 25 48 AMSince then I’m a heavy user of those products and I decided to interview James Atkin (director of Community Martketing at Goal Zero) and have a chat about the company, the products and the philosophy behind it.

1. How did GoalZero started?
Robert Workman did start GoalZero. Robert was working in Democratic Republic of Congo where people have issues to have access to electricity. Robert decided to supply reliable, portable energy, that’s how they created the first Goal Zero prototype.

2. Why solar energy ? Photo 20-04-13 10 23 19 AM
We started out to fix a need for portable power and Solar is the best and most efficient way to have a renewable portable power right now.

3. Who are your clients ?
There are 7 billion of them 🙂 whether you are in a developing country or if your are living in NY. Power is NOW a basic human need and we want to help power and light up the world.

4. Is solar technology for everyone ?

Basically, if you use plugs, there is a portable solar energy solution for you. (ed.)

5. Are there a lot of power outages around the world ? Why ?
%50 of the world has unreliable power and %20 has no power at all. In many countries the power grid is very sketchy and goes out numerous times a day. Any power grid can go offline at any moment and if your fully relying on that power then you’ll be out. We all witnessed this during sandy and katrina.

The electricity can be down because of a snow storm, water flood, fire, … or just be down. Portable solar panels and rechargers give you the possibility to keep going with your electric devices (light, heater, fridge, … or cell phones, tablets, …) and wait stressless-free until power gets back on. You don’t need electricity cuts to use portable solar solution wherever and whenever. (ed.)

6. How should we prepare to face power outage ? What could be our “survival kit” ?
The best way is to be prepared. There are many forms of power, some are renewable some are combustible. I would have some sort of water cleaning device, food storage (enough food for 1 month if not longer), lights, a power supply (depends on what your power needs are, you can have solar for an iPod or your fridge, heater, TV, radio, …).Photo 20-04-13 10 23 58 AM (HDR)

7. Tell us about “Sandy”
Sandy was devastating but open up many minds around the world about the potential for power outages, disaster events and being prepared. It changed my life and my teams life that went there as well. We brought in the GZnation to help us with our efforts there. We raised 600k to give out power and lights to areas affected by the power outages. It was crazy to see how many families were unprepared and all they had was 1 candle for a family of 5. We were able to prove a ton of power and lights to be in really bad shape and it really did change their life and helped them get back on their feet faster.

The GoalZero team shipped products and their team from Utah to Sandy’s most devastated areas where people were out of electricity for the past 10 days … they offered help and hope to the persons thinking nobody cared and helped them go through this tough period. it was a life line through disaster. (ed.)

8. Any project ? A new product you are working on ?
We are working on a new humanitarian program called Share the Sun, it will be going live in the next month. It is our platform to bring in our friends, fans, retailers and corporate partners to light the world.

We have a new product coming out that is basically the new phone booth. Its called the street charge and we will be launching that later this month. We have 2 bigger solar generators coming out, a new speaker design, a new lantern and a few tips for the Switch 8.

Thanks James for enlightening us and we’ll stay tuned to those new releases.

Be aware the GoalZero founded a non-profit organization, Humanitarian association called Tifie (Teaching Individuals and Family Independence through Enterprise ). The objective is to give individuals opportunity to provide for themselves and their families, on the principle that all individuals deserve the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.

Tifie is based on providing portable power AND also proceeds from each Goal Zero proceeds with the dream that one day there will be
. ZERO illiteracy
. ZERO poverty
. ZERO hunger
… obective GOAL ZERO!

More infos
. Follow @GoalZero and @GoalZeroAU
. Official GoalZero Website
. GoalZero Blog Off the grid
. Time to Switch, our review of Goal Zero panel and Switch 8 recharger
. Going Solar, part 2, follow up of our “Time to Switch” review

How to optimize your iPhone settings to spare your battery ?

10 Mar

Who doesn’t need battery when you own an iPhone? I spend lots of time on my phone and I can’t go through the day without looking desperately for a plug at least once or twice a day …

The easiest thing to do is to optimise the settings of your iphone
1/ Close the non-necessary apps (running in the background and wasting power). I didn’t know there were using power, I only thought they were taking space in the cache.

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  • Double tap the home button the bottom bar appears with all the working in the background apps
  • Touch one of the apps and waiting for it to move and have
  • Tap the “one way” panel, and it will shut down the app

2/ Turn off wifi and Bluetooth options

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  • Go to “Settings”
  • Turn off Bluetooth and wifi options

3/ Turn on the auto brightness

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  • Go to “Settings”
  • And set the toggle to “On”

4/ Turn off notifications

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  • Go to “Settings”
  • Tap “Notifications”
  • And select the apps that can send you the notifications

5/ Turn off vibration, led and flash

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  • To turn off the vibration
  • Go to “Settings”, “Sounds” and turn off “Vibrate on Ring” and “Vibrate on Silent”
  • To turn off the led
  • Go to “Settings”, “General”, “Accessibility” then turn off the toggle to off for “Led Flash for Alert”

6/ Turn off the location services

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  • Go to “Settings”, “Privacy”, and turn it off

If you still can’t go through the day and you don’t find plugs, I still have a trick (external batteries: Mophie, Just Mobile or … way cooler the Goal Zero!)

Speak out !

4 Mar

Before I had cute portable speakers that I carried with me while traveling.
Photo 4-03-13 11 02 22 AMThey were great, I charged them with the USB and could you them for a full week at the office to listen to my favorite playlist and radio show (97.3 The Coast with Julie Guy).

Sadly the twist and turn to expand them broke the little dents and my speakers were not portable anymore 😦

Now, I found a rugged and powerful speaker made by Goal Zero called the “Rock Out“.

The speaker is kind of a box that you unzip to reveal
. The switch on/offPhoto 4-03-13 11 05 48 AM . The USB cable to charge your speaker . The cable to link it to your device (iPhone, iPad, laptop, …) (audio jack in)
. There’s also a great feature called “audio out” that allows you to chain the Rock Out one to another to increase the watts (one RockOut gives you 30 watts). Let’s the party get started!
Photo 4-03-13 12 52 31 PM. Smartly you can tuck your iPhone inside the speaker when you go to the beach (nobody likes a sandy iPhone …) but you can also secure you phone outside the Rock Out if you want to access the volume functions.
. The outside cover comes with an elastic rope that you can tie and secure your speaker while on the move (works for me in the bathroom)

Good to know, you can power it with your Goal Zero Switch8 or straight from you Goal Zero solar panel Nomad 3.5

ChaseIt or BChased ?
ChaseIt because this is a great, rugged speaker that will follow you during your urban and wild expeditions.

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Mores infos
. Goal Zero official website: http://www.goalzero.com
. Follow @GoalZeroSolar
. Like their page on Facebook
. The Coast official website
. Like their page on Facebook
. Follow Julie Guy @JulieGuy_TheCoast

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