A standard 3rd party iphone/ipod USB cable will run you less than $5, at which point any standard USB power source will charge your iDevice. Where are you getting $30 from? Plus, how many manufacturers have used the same physical connector on virtually all their devices for over 9 years? It's not like they're making you go out and buy a new cable/charger every 2-3 years.
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If you're just trying to get it hovering indoors a few feet off the ground, there's really a pretty narrow RPM band you need to be concerned with. Why introduce the added drivetrain loss (however small) and weight of extra gears?
According to the teams website, they think the extra hand pedaling increases the amount of power the human pilot can put out around 10-20%. Sounds worth it.
As to the recumbent position, I'm just guessing but maybe it has to do with stresses on the frame (which looks like it's barely up to the task of supporting the pilot). On upright bikes riders often have a tendency to mash the peddles, rather than smoothly spinning them, creating highly directional and varying forces. A recumbent position limits the amount of force you can apply to a single peddle.
I think for my first Android software project I'm going to come up with a text message like program that uses your data plan. I could make a killing on something like that if it took off. Although I'll probably get my ass sued off by patent trolls so I may not bother.
Right after you build your time machine to go back in time 4 years before the 100+ other people already made apps that do just that for Android / iOS.
Good book. If I recall, those blackholes were also created in an accelerator built on a remote asteroid a safe distance from Earth. Maybe we should listen to him.