Wooden electric balance bike wants to be your Big Buddy

Last year we heard about the Draisine 200.0, a one-off wooden electric balance bike for adults. Well, if you wished that you could buy something like it, now is your chance. The Slovenian-made Big Buddy Bike has a tempered wooden frame, it’s adult-sized, and it’s an electric balance bike – of a sort. We say “of a sort” because whereas the Draisine 200.0’s motor actually kicked-in in response to the rider’s footsteps, the Big Buddy’s motor works in throttle mode only. In other words, you can use it as a human-powered…

EVgo, Chargepoint annual reports show growth in electric-car charging

Seven years and almost 800,000 cars after the first modern electric cars went on sale, there’s still a lot wrong with the national charging infrastructure in the U.S. There’s little central planning, little standardized signage or public signposting, virtually no awareness among non-EV drivers, and roaming among networks with a single membership remains out of reach. But still, usage of public charging stations rises every year. DON’T MISS: Car buyers have no idea electric-car charging stations even exist Recent summaries of 2017 activity by two large charging networks, ChargePoint and EVgo,…

2019 BMW i8: larger battery, more range, plus new Roadster priced from $164,295

Roadster priced from $164,295 BMW is breathing some fresh air into its three-year-old alternative flagship to improve performance, increase range, and add some style. Revealed at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, the i8’s update (known in the industry as a “mid-cycle refresh”) increases its battery capacity from 7.1 to 11.7 kilowatt-hours, improving the car’s all-electric range from 15 to 18 miles. But if you’re buying the i8 for its electric-mode range, you may be missing the point. DON’T MISS: Long-delayed BMW i8 Spyder plug-in hybrid due in 2018 Instead, the…

Is boasting good or bad for business?

Image copyrightMADDY SAVAGEImage captionAre, with a population of just 5,000, has become a Swedish start-up hub Sweden is one of the most innovative countries in the world, yet has a business culture that discourages bragging about its success. So is this humility a help or a hindrance when it comes to start-ups? From household names such as Spotify and Skype, to gaming leaders King and Mojang and cashless payment companies iZettle and Klarna, Sweden is a hotspot for industry-changing new technologies. Despite just 10 million inhabitants occupying a land mass…

How Mattel is using AR to let you preview Hot Wheels playsets

Taking a cue from Lego, Mattel is betting on augmented reality as a new way to entice shoppers. The company will introduce an AR app this fall, which will generate a virtual version of its Hot Wheels City playsets when you point your phone or tablet at their boxes in stores. The idea is to give kids and parents a better sense of how the set looks and functions without open anything up, and without retailers wasting precious floorspace on demo units. At New York City’s Toy Fair, the AR models…

IKEA and Teenage Engineering preview their collaboration on Instagram

Teenage Engineering is known for its wonky-looking yet functional synthsand speakers, while IKEA furniture fills college (and folks who still live like it’s college) apartments. Their powers combined has produced…some neat, boldly-colored speakers, actually. On its Instagram, Ikea just posted a sneak peek at their upcoming line of collaborated products built “so that you can host your party, wherever you may be.” Per the photo, the new line FREKVENS (translated to “frequency”) looks to include speakers, an LED box, a spotlight and, of course, speakers — all the tools needed to party. That might not be…

French musician robbed of million-euro cello at knifepoint

An award-winning French musician was robbed at knifepoint of her 18th-century cello, worth more than €1m, outside her home in a Paris suburb on Thursday evening. The soloist Ophélie Gaillard told police her attacker also forced her to hand over her mobile phone before fleeing on foot in the north-eastern suburb of Pantin. “Help! My cello was stolen this evening in a red dark flightcase,” Gaillard wrote in a Facebook post, accompanied by pictures of the instrument. She said the cello, which was loaned to her by CIC bank and…

Indian jewellery tycoon hunted over claims he cheated bank of $1.8bn

A worldwide search is under way for a billionaire Indian jeweller accused of cheating the state-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB) out of nearly $1.8bn. Nirav Modi, a third-generation jewellery tycoon whose clients have included Kate Winslet and Priyanka Chopra, is alleged to have colluded with bank employees to obtain huge unsecured loans over a seven-year period, according to a complaint filed by PNB. The borrowed funds, amounting to nearly one-third of PNB’s market value, caused shares in the bank to plunge this week. Some of the loans were used to…

Kosovo at 10: challenges overshadow independence celebrations

The bunting is going up on Pristina’s Mother Teresa Boulevard, stages are assembled for concerts starring the Kosovo-born British singer Rita Ora, and international dignitaries are starting to arrive. On Saturday the small Balkan state marks the 10th anniversary of its declaration of independence, and the air of pride and enthusiasm is palpable. “Independence was the best thing, the best thing, to happen to Kosovo,” says Granit Miftari, a 27-year-old singer in aviator sunglasses as he passes a stage. “This is one of the best holidays that we can have.” 51st state:…

State of emergency declared in Ethiopia amid political unrest

Ethiopia has announced a state of emergency after prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday announced his intention to step down amid a political crisis in the country. The ruling EPRDF coalition’s council met on Friday and decided to impose emergency rule for an unspecified period, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said. The council “came to the conclusion that imposing emergency rule would be vital to safeguarding the constitutional order of our country”. Further details are expected to be given by the defence minister on Saturday morning. An opposition leader said earlier on…