• A Force Field Against Mosquitoes?

    When warding off mosquitoes, few products on the market offer a convenient and non-toxic solution. Mosquito netting and EPA-registered repellants may be the most prevalent commercial products for the task, but a company called ieCrowd says it is about to introduce a new approach: the Kite Mosquito Patch.

    Worldwide, 666,000 people die from malaria each year, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Africa, where 91 percent of worldwide Malaria cases were recorded in 2010, the need for an effective and convenient repellant is critical.

    Developed at the University of California Riverside, the technology behind the Kite, which ieCrowd acquired, is said to involve non-toxic chemical compounds that neutralize a mosquito’s only meal ticket: its ability to detect carbon dioxide, which humans exhale.

    “The Kite Patch is somewhat of a marvel - a novel approach to mosquito deterrents,” said Grey Frandsen, ieCrowd’s chief marketing officer and

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  • 1981 Chevrolet pickup truck. Red, white and blue exterior. 46,259 miles. Asking price on Ebay: $250,000.

    Sound crazy?

    That’s the starting bid for Orlando Figueroa’s Chevy on the popular auction site. But judging by the reaction Figueroa’s truck gets on the street from others, he may reach his quarter million asking price.

    That’s because Figueroa’s Chevy is no ordinary Chevy. In fact, it looks nothing like a pickup; it’s more akin to Optimus Prime. Or a space ship crossed with the Batmobile.

    Figueora custom-built the monstrous truck using the frame of a 1981 Chevy pickup. Among its many striking features and amenities are hydraulic-controlled doors; front, rear, and side cameras; indoor televisions; an array of exterior light displays; a fully automated rear ramp; racing seats; motion sensors and a very loud truck horn.

    “Actually, I wouldn’t call it a Transformer,” said Figueroa, a 51-year-old auto mechanic who runs a repair shop in Brooklyn called Figs Auto Repair. “I don’t want to

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  • Fitbit for Dogs

    Urban dog owners often worry about the fitness levels of their dogs. Are they getting enough exercise? Should I rush home and walk them? Did the walker give them a decent trek?

    Now dog owners can purchase small fitness monitors for their pets that measure their activity levels throughout the day. One New York City-based startup, Fitbark, is about to introduce their model of the same name. Yes, as its title suggests, it’s essentially a Fitbit for dogs.

    The device was first conceived a year ago by the brother-sister team of Davide and Sara Rossi, who recently moved to the United States from Italy.

    “There was a time when we really wanted to make sure our dog, Freud, was receiving enough physical exercise in the care of other members of the family,” said Davide.

    They’ve been working non-stop with a team that spans the globe to bring their device to market. Their target customers are urban dog owners who may not be able to spend as much time with their pooches as they might like.

    “Over and

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