June 30, 2010 2:52 PM
The Jetsons, here we come -- you can now buy a flying car, if you can afford one. The Terrafugia Transition Roadable Aircraft can take off from an ordinary road and rise into the air, allowing flying cars to go right over a sluggish traffic jam. It is designed to drive like a car and fly like a plane. In the air, it can reach speeds of up to 115 miles per hour -- and you won’t get a speeding ticket. The car can rise to a height of 10,000 feet, and can travel for 400 miles. On land, it even gets reasonable gas mileage -- about 30 miles per gallon. The first model flying car, called the Transition, will be available for purchase by the end of next year -- it will cost around $194,000. [More]
June 30, 2010 1:41 PM
The History Channel is preparing to debut a new reality show this fall -- and it will be about storage. The show, called Storage Wars, will focus on what happens to the contents of a storage unit if it is abandoned by its owners. It is being developed by Thom Beers, who previously produced reality shows Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers. Beers hopes that Storage Wars will follow in the footsteps of other hit new reality tv shows, like Antiques Roadshow, American Pickers, and Pawn Stars. [More]
June 29, 2010 2:14 PM
Abandoning their preparations for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, residents along the Texas coast, operating with one eye on the weather forecast, are instead preparing for the possible arrival of Tropical Storm Alex. Alex is the first storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, which is forecast to have a higher than usual number of tropical storms and hurricanes. Many workers attempting to contain the BP oil spill have also had to evacuate, delaying BP’s oil containment efforts, although Alex is not expected to hit the oil spill area. The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center, which are tracking Alex with satellite images, have forecast that Alex will become a hurricane later today. According to hurricane tracking software, it could make landfall anywhere between Baffin Bay, near Kingsville, and La Cruz, Mexico. When Alex does reach land, it is expected to have become a category 1 hurricane. [More]
June 29, 2010 1:29 PM
Nicholas Sprayregan began his fight to save Tuck-It-Away Self Storage from annexation by New York’s Columbia University in 2004, but the battle may now be drawing to a close. Last week Columbia received a green light from New York’s highest court to go ahead with its eminent domain expansion, taking over private properties in a Harlem neighborhood that the government has designated as a blight on the city. Columbia’s team of lawyers had argued that because the West Harlem neighborhood was considered blighted, ruling in the university’s favor would mean upholding the precedent set in 2009, when the court approved the use of eminent domain in Brooklyn. In that case, attorneys argued that the rights of property owners did not outweigh the community’s right to improve the neighborhood by building the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards project. [More]
June 29, 2010 9:52 AM
You can’t live inside a self storage unit. But can you wash and groom a dog there? Can you run a pet grooming business there? That was the question facing the town board of Wales, New York earlier this month, on June 8. It is not unusual for a small business to be run out of a self storage facility, but a pet dog grooming business might have special needs unlike those of other small businesses. The Wales Town Board discussed the matter for eight minutes and then unanimously decided that they needed more information in order to make an informed decision. They tabled the request pending proof that neighboring property owners had been notified that the self storage business was considering allowing pet groomers, or at least a pet groomer, to move in, and that there might be dogs and pets going in and out of the facility.
The request before the Wales Town Board was filed by Thunder Hill Self Storage, not by the pet grooming business. Thunder Hill would have to amend its special use permit, allowing another business to operate on its premises, if the pet grooming business is to be located there. The dog grooming business would be called Pet Grooming Spa. [More]
June 29, 2010 9:11 AM
Futurama is back! Last broadcast in 2003, the sci-fi cartoon television series brainchild of The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening and David X. Cohen returned to Fox last week with all new episodes set in the year 3000. Futurama fans can get their fill of Fry, Leela, Bender, and Professor Farnsworth every Thursday now.
But while Futurama was off the air, has the future changed? In the seven years since 2003, the nature of television has changed profoundly. Many fans of Futurama and other hit television series now buy their shows a season at a time, in DVD form, and watch the shows at their leisure on DVD players, computers, and, if they choose to digitize the episodes, on iPods and other MP3 and MP4 players. Many choose not to watch network or cable television at all. [More]
June 24, 2010 2:18 PM
A UK storage facility, BiG Storage, has received two industry awards at the annual conference of the European self storage industry. The conference, which included representatives from the U.S. Self Storage Association, the U.K. Self Storage Association, and the Federation of European Self Storage Associations (FEDESSA), took place from June 16 to 17 in Berlin. BiG Storage received the Support to the Community 2010 and the UK Facility of the Year awards. [More]
June 24, 2010 2:07 PM
Canadian pop band Michou has gone on tour this summer to promote its new album, Cardona. But before leaving for their tour, the foursome recorded one of the songs from the album as a music video. The video, “Eavesdropping,” shows the members of the band making their way through a self storage facility, as thousands of yellow balloons cascade around them. Eventually the band ends up on the beach. The song can be found in You Tube music videos, or at the band’s own website. “Eavesdropping” is not Michou’s first music video -- or its first album. [More]
June 23, 2010 5:51 PM
Westy Self Storage, a self storage company with 16 locations throughout New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, announced today that it has started a drive to collect materials to be used to clean up birds and animals affected by the BP oil spill cleanup. Donations can be dropped off at any of Westy’s locations. For the oil cleanup project, Westy is collaborating with another organization, the New Jersey Warehousemen and Movers Association (NJWMA). Westy will store each donation temporarily and then consolidate all the donations at its Stamford, Connecticut location. Then the NJWMA will transport the donations south. [More]
June 23, 2010 5:39 PM
Yesterday, Google announced that it will now allow anyone to sign up for a free phone number and free voicemail using its previously invitation-only Google Voice service. All over the Internet, bloggers have been hailing this development as a wonderful cost-saving tool for a small business, even though many of the capabilities of Google Voice have been available to small businesses for quite some time through other VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) providers, such as Skype and Sipgate. In fact, Skype and Sipgate offer one service that Google Voice does not: the ability to send and receive a fax.
However, Google Voice has upped the ante, so to speak, by offering some new services. These services will make it even easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses that do not yet have a home, simply by combining a self storage unit (to hold inventory and records) with a laptop computer and cell phone. Small business owners are using VoIP services to make their businesses appear larger and more established than they actually are, to convey a professional appearance (even when the business owner may be working at home in casual attire), and to appear more local than they actually are, sometimes targeting local residents by setting up a special phone number that is located within that area code. In some cases, business owners add to the appearance of being local by opening a self storage unit at a facility that also includes a small post office where businesses can receive mail. [More]