iCarta
www.atechflash.com
The iCarta adds a whole new meaning to the term "rock and roll."
By Brian Tracey Business Editor
msnbc.com
COMMENTARY

It's becoming increasingly apparent that people who own Apple iPods can get a little worked up about their stylish digital music players, and a whole industry has cropped up to provide gizmos and gadgets designed to work with the devices.

Earlier this year we thought we had seen it all in this mini-industry when we found a 1940s-style jukebox that can connect with your iPod .

We were wrong.

Next month, a company called Atech Flash Technology will release the iCarta, designed to let users listen to music while in the bathroom and features a toilet-paper holder.

The $99.95 iCarta's four speakers are designed to resist moisture, and the device uses AC power to charge the iPod while it's playing. Atech says the toilet paper holder can be folded in if the user would rather not employ this unique implementation of multitasking.

When contacted for comment by gadget Web site iPodObserver.com, Atech sales manager Eric Liu said: "We want to create something that is different and brings people joy for buying such products. The product is even protected by our own patent worldwide."

That's good, because otherwise the market would be flush with iPod-compatible toilet paper dispensers.

Not-so-bad ideas

  • One of Britain's most prestigious art galleries put a block of slate on display, topped by a small piece of wood, in the mistaken belief it was a work of art.

The Royal Academy included the chunk of stone and the small bone-shaped wooden stick in its summer exhibition in London.

But the slate was actually a plinth — a slab on which a pedestal is placed — and the stick was designed to prop up a sculpture. The sculpture itself — of a human head — was nowhere to be seen.

"I think the things got separated in the selection process, and the selectors presented the plinth as a complete sculpture," the work's artist David Hensel told BBC radio.

The academy explained the error by saying the plinth and the head were sent to the exhibitors separately.

"Given their separate submission, the two parts were judged independently," it said in a statement. "The head was rejected. The base was thought to have merit and accepted. It is accepted that works may not be displayed in the way that the artist might have intended."

So next time you go to a museum and see something that makes you wonder whether it's really art, you may just be right.

  • Last year we discovered Pups Cups , a line of bottled water for your thirsty-yet-discriminating dog. Well, the designer-drinks-for-pets market is getting crowded these days with the introduction of Molli's Choice, "a line of nutritionally enhanced flavored bottled waters."

Boston-based Mollibrands says the water was developed using "vet-approved formulations" and comes in such supposedly pet-pleasing flavors as beef tenderloin, bacon delight, roasted turkey and roasted chicken.

"Research shows that many tap water sources contain levels of chlorine and fluoride that can be harmful to your pets," says Tomas Malave, CEO and Founder of Mollibrands. "That's why we created Molli's Choice. It's a fun, healthful product line that even the most finicky pets will enjoy and benefit from."

Malave notes that enhanced-flavored waters market — for humans — is one the fastest-growing segments of the beverage industry, so he sees pets as a natural product extension.

The way things are going, we think it's only matter of time before we see the first pet energy drink: Red Bulldog.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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