Grovemade releases new HomePod stands made from aluminum, wood, and cork to keep away white rings

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Grovemade has today announced its latest Apple accessory, the HomePod Stand. The new hand-finished stands offer a clean, minimal aesthetic to prop up your HomePod and prevent the speaker from damaging wood tops.

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Researchers turned wood into a better insulator than Styrofoam

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The research lab behind the creation of see-through wood has developed a new type of material that could be used as a cheaper, stronger and more environmentally friendly insulator. They're calling it nanowood and it insulates better than Styrofoam an…
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Wood is the new leather for Apple Watch bands [Watch Store]

Nature is truly present in the Teton Apple Watch band in Zebrawood by Wood Mark Watches. The wood for this special band comes from a species of tree found and sourced in Central Africa. Known for its richly veined, zebra-like stripes and pale golden yellow wood, zebrawood is a beautifully exotic material. Read on to […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

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MIT’s robot carpenters will saw wood for you, but you have to make the furniture yourself

Researchers from MIT have created a new system of robot-assisted carpentry that they say could make the creation of custom furniture and fittings safer, easier, and cheaper.

The system is made up of two parts: design software and semi-autonomous robots. Users select a template from the software (like a chair, table, or shed) and then adjust it to their liking, tweaking the size and shape. This order is then turned into instructions for the robots, which autonomously pick up and saw the necessary materials to the correct size. And it’s then up to the user to put the finished product together.

At the moment, the whole process is pretty basic, and involves a lot of human oversight and instruction. There are only four design templates to…

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Three Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea to Build a Skyscraper Out of Wood

Japanese architects want to turn modern-day cities into wooden forests, quite literally. Japanese firm Sumitomo Forestry unveiled its designs for what would be the tallest wooden building in the world — a 350-meter (1,148-foot) skyscraper, dubbed as the W350 Project.

The building, slated to be completed by 2041, would be made of 90 percent specially processed wood, and 10 percent steel. But it’s not your run-of-the-mill timber that’s going to be built so high into the sky — the building would likely be made of cross-laminated timber, a material made of many sheets of wood glued and compressed together. The final result is a plank that’s more robust than steel. If one of the little piggies built its house from this stuff, even to the heights of the W350 project, then no amount of the wolf’s huffing or puffing could take it down.

Looks pretty stunning! Image credit: Sumitomo Forestry
The W350 Project isn’t the first of its kind — other architects in cities all over the world have been toying with the idea of using wood as the main component for skyscrapers. But it’s not just the availability of the new material that makes it so appealing. So why build skyscrapers out of wood? We can think of a few good reasons.

Wood is Environmentally Friendly

The production of typical construction materials, like steel and concrete, accounts for 16 percent of global emissions, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Sustainable ForestryBy switching to wood, we could reduce the emissions from the construction industry by up to 31 percent, according to a study from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

And because wood is lighter and easier to transport than steel, it requires fewer fossil fuels to transport it, further reducing emissions.

Wood is Cost-Effective

Cross-laminated timber costs about the same as concrete and steel. And again, because it’s lighter, builders can move a lot more of it for the same cost.

While the W350 Project is expected to cost twice as much as an ordinary building, Sumitomo is confident that technological advances between now and 2041, when the building is expected to be complete, will drastically reduce that number.

Wood is Renewable

Compared to steel and concrete, wood is renewable because we can simply grow more timber. “What about deforestation?” you would ask. Those worries are unfounded — less than 1 percent of the world’s forests are harvested annually.

“Harvesting also reduces a forest’s likelihood of suffering a catastrophic wildfires, and improves its ability to withstand it,” wrote the authors in the 2013 study. “Maintaining a mix of forest habitats and tree densities in non-reserved forests would help preserve the varied biodiversity in ecosystems worldwide.”

If managed properly, wood could become an accessible, practical building material for large-scale construction projects. The W350 Project may be the most recent endeavor to bring wood to new heights, but it certainly won’t be the last.

The post Three Reasons Why It’s a Good Idea to Build a Skyscraper Out of Wood appeared first on Futurism.

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Apple HomePod may leave white rings on some wood furniture

Apple HomePod white rings wood furniture

The HomePod is now available to the public and blasting tunes in owners’ homes, but Apple’s device is doing more to peoples’ homes than just filling them with music.

Some Apple HomePod owners have found that the smart speaker can leave a white ring on wood furniture. The Wirecutter discovered in its HomePod review that the device left a white ring on both an oiled butcher block countertop as well as a wooden side table. Owners on Twitter have noticed the issue, too.

When asked about the white rings, Apple confirmed the problem and said that “the markets can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.” If the rings don’t go away on their own, Apple suggests that users “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

This is a weird issue that could be serious if HomePod ends up damaging expensive wooden furniture. It’s kind of a weird problem for the HomePod to have since we haven’t heard any other smart speakers running into the same issue, and it’ll be interesting to see what exactly is causing these white rings to appear.

HomePod owners, have you noticed any white rings on your furniture?

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Sonos One feet leaving same white marks on wood furniture that the HomePod can

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A day after a debacle began about the HomePod silicone ring on the base of the unit was causing a stain to appear on some wood surfaces, it looks that the Sonos One has a similar issue with its own vibration-insulating feet.
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Apple Confirms HomePod Can Leave White Rings on Wood Surfaces With Oil or Wax Finishes [Updated]

Apple has issued a statement confirming that the HomePod can possibly leave white rings on wood surfaces with an oil or wax finish.

Image: Wirecutter

The strange discovery was brought to light in HomePod reviews published by Wirecutter and Pocket-lint, as highlighted by VentureBeat, while at least one customer shared a picture of the same problem on Twitter.

Pocket-lint‘s Stuart Miles:

For our tests we placed the speaker on a solid oak kitchen worktop treated with Danish oil.

Within 20 minutes the HomePod had caused a white discoloured ring to appear on the wood that some days later has faded, although still hasn’t completely disappeared.

We subsequently tested the HomePod on other materials: the same wood that hadn’t been treated with Danish oil and a regular lacquered desk and haven’t seen the same issues.

Apple told Pocket-lint that it is “not unusual” for a speaker with a silicone base to leave a “mild mark” when placed on certain oiled or waxed surfaces, suggesting the rings are caused by chemical interactions with treated wood.

Image: Pocket-lint

Apple told Wirecutter that “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface.” If not, Apple recommends “cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

The HomePod can damage wood furniture: An unhappy discovery after we placed a HomePod on an oiled butcher-block countertop and later on a wooden side table was that it left a defined white ring in the surface. Other reviewers and owners have reported the same issue, which an Apple representative has confirmed. Apple says “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface,” and if they don’t fade on their own, you can basically just go refinish the furniture—the exact advice Apple gave in an email to Wirecutter was to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.”

It’s unclear at this point whether the issue is limited to treated wood, or if the problem could cause any sort of long-term damage to the HomePod’s rubber base. For now, we would obviously recommend not placing your HomePod on a surface with an oil or wax finish if possible.

Wirecutter conducted some additional testing and saw no visible damage when placing the HomePod on glass, granite countertop, nice fiberboard, polyurethane-sealed wood, and cheap IKEA bookcases.

Update: Apple shared a “Cleaning and taking care of HomePod” support document that includes a section called “Where to place HomePod.” This section includes details on the silicone base of the device and warns that it can cause marks on some wooden surfaces.

HomePod is designed for indoor use only. When using HomePod, make sure to place it on a solid surface. Place the power cord so that it won’t be walked on or pinched.

It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces. The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.

Apple also suggests users avoid putting the HomePod near heat sources and liquids, and advises users that it can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

Related Roundup: HomePod
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Apple: HomePod may leave white rings on wood surfaces [updated]

Apple on Wednesday issued a statement confirming reports that the HomePod can leave visible marks on select wooden surfaces. In early reviews, Wirecutter and other publications noted that when placing the HomePod on treated wooden surfaces, a ring-shaped mark develops beneath the speaker within as little as 20 minutes.

Here’s the blurb about the marks from Wirecutter’s review:

The HomePod can damage wood furniture: An unhappy discovery after we placed a HomePod on an oiled butcher-block countertop and later on a wooden side table was that it left a defined white ring in the surface. Other reviewers and owners have reported the same issue, which an Apple representative has confirmed.

And here’s Apple’s official response to the publication:

Apple says “the marks can improve over several days after the speaker is removed from the wood surface,” and if they don’t fade on their own, you can basically just go refinish the furniture—the exact advice Apple gave in an email to Wirecutter was to “try cleaning the surface with the manufacturer’s suggested oiling method.” 

Apple also adds that it’s not unusual for speakers with a silicon base to leave small marks when placed on certain oiled or waxed surfaces—it has something to do with a chemical reaction to treated wood. Still, for a product that is touted for its beautiful design, this is not a good look. Especially given all of the criticism it’s been taking in other areas.

Source: Wirecutter

Update: Apple has posted a new support document entitled “Cleaning and Taking Care of HomePod,” with a section called Where to Place HomePod.

HomePod is designed for indoor use only. When using HomePod, make sure to place it on a solid surface. Place the power cord so that it won’t be walked on or pinched.

It is not unusual for any speaker with a vibration-dampening silicone base to leave mild marks when placed on some wooden surfaces. The marks can be caused by oils diffusing between the silicone base and the table surface, and will often go away after several days when the speaker is removed from the wooden surface. If not, wiping the surface gently with a soft damp or dry cloth may remove the marks. If marks persist, clean the surface with the furniture manufacturer’s recommended cleaning process. If you’re concerned about this, we recommend placing your HomePod on a different surface.


Apple: HomePod may leave white rings on wood surfaces [updated]” is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Apple updates HomePod support page, warns about marks on wood

A number of HomePod owners have started noticing rings left on wooden surfaces, particularly those with oil-based finishes. The silicone in the base of the HomePod can react to oil on a molecular level, causing these marks or rings. This type of problem is not specific to the HomePod, in fact, all kinds of speakers (or anything with a silicone base like an Amazon Echo Dot) can cause these kinds of marks on wood. Because of this, Apple has updated its HomePod support page with the following information regarding the HomePod and wooden surfaces. It is not unusual for any speaker with a…

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