* Bring back (?) the furoshiki. Sure, we all know it’s good for wrapping that big old jeroboam (or at least magnum) of nihonshu, but as the diagram to the right shows, it can also be a fun way to wrap books and just about anything else. Much more ecologically-mindful than wrapping paper for the holidays (since it is perfect for re-gifting!), and much more useful, as anyone who has ever been a Scout can tell you. Pick some up on eBay.
* Zudeo, a front-end video sharing site using Azureus, is now in Beta, aiming at beating YouTube not at its own game, but at higher quality video.
* Cory Doctorow’s books are among the first to be available to test Lirevite, which (as the name implies) is a speed reading program that puts up one word at a time on your Pocket PC. I’ve played with reading this way (though not with this particular product) and it is surprisingly effective.