December 9, 2010 00:18 by Jeremy
A group of researchers led by Professor Reza Ghodssi at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering, and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, are using the properties of TMV (Tobacco mosaic virus) to help create smaller, more efficient lithium ion batteries.
The virus? TMV is a rod-shaped plant virus that attacks tobacco, tomatoes, peppers, and other vegetation. According to the university's press release, the researchers, "mofify the TMV rods to bind perpendicularly to the metallic surface of a battery electrode and arrange the rods in intricate and orderly patterns on the electrode. Then, they coat the rods with a conductive thin film that acts as a current collector and finally the battery's active material that participates in the electrochemical reactions."
The result? Bigger electrode surface area and an increase in storage capacity. This allows a faster charge/discharge time, and gives up to 10 times increased capacity in comparison to your regular Li-Ion battery.
The usage? Professor Ghodssi provides two examples: the first shows the creation of a very miniscule battey that can be used to power wireless sensors networks. These sensors can monitor homeland security, agriculture, and the surrounding environment. A different proejct that Ghodssi's team is working on, focuses on creating increased-sensitivity explosive detection sensors, by using TMV to bind to TNT. (Author's note: Ironically, those two uses seem quite opposite from each other.)
No tomatoes were harmed in the making of this blog post. However, regular Li-Ion batteries are scared to go out of business: adopt one today (not for free) at ebatts.com.
Source: UMD's press release
December 4, 2010 00:13 by Jeremy
Mophie's been around for a while now, selling cases and external batteries for your iPhone 3G, iPod Touch 2G, etc. More recently, they've announced that their latest product, the Juice Pack Plus for the iPhone4, will soon be coming in extra colors - Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow (seen below). These case-batteries will be available in January, while the plain Black version is already available now.
The Juice Pack Plus has 2000mAh, offering roughly 8 extra hours of talk time (useful in case you're aiming to get the Guinness Record for World's Longest Phone Conversation), or 7 hours of internet use on 3G (much easier than switching over to a desktop or laptop, of course), or 44 hours of extra audio playback. Some would prefer this case over others because of its speaker-rerouting system as well: sound is redirected from the bottom of your iPhone, to the front, offering better sound quality. A USB cable is provided so that you can plug in your iPhone and let it sync/charge without having to remove the case.
A previous product, the "Juice Pack Air" is also available for the iPhone 4G, but doesn't offer as much battery life as the new Juice Pack Plus. Unfortunately, it also does not come in the retro colors seen above (personally, I'd rock the Cyan one).
Honestly though, in case you're looking for a more unique look to your iPhone, and don't ever want to have to worry about your phone dying, this may just be the product you've been looking for. Morphie's website has the full details, and you can order the products directly from there.
Now imagine using this case in conjunction with the umbilical-iPhone-cord - maybe then you'll nab the Guinness Record for Most Unique iPhone Accessories too.
Source: tuaw.com for the picture
November 17, 2010 00:59 by Ty
Dell has accidentally shipped a batch of the Windows 7 Venue Pro smartphones with batteries labeled as "Engineering sample". With it's stunning 4.1" multi-touch display, full sliding QWERTY keyboard, and powerful Windows Phone 7; one quick look at the battery and you will notice the labeling stating that the battery is an "Engineering sample."
"So I went to the Microsoft store here in Denver CO. They told me that Dell accidentally sent engineering models to them and that’s why they were having issues with the wifi. Apparently this is a known issue with the Microsoft stores.
They were great customer service wise and swapped out my Venue Pro for an HD7 which is really awesome too."
As embarrassing as this may seem for Dell, Microsoft and T-Mobile, all batteries are being swapped out with the correct ones and any WiFi issues should be eliminated.
October 15, 2010 01:12 by Jeremy
If our childhood tv shows such as Power Rangers or Voltron have taught us anything, it’s that when you combine several things together, you get one massive, awesome…thing. Such is the case with the latest news of Apple iPad’s being sold by both AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Okay, so maybe we’ll stick with individual logos, just in case. Nonetheless, both AT&T and Verizon Wireless will begin selling the iPad (with their individual prices and plans, of course) on October 28th. So what’s so special about each of them, you may ask?
AT&T’s version of the iPad, which is Wi-Fi + 3G, is being sold for $629 for the 16GB version, $729 for 32GB, and $829 for 64GB. Their no-commitment data plans are coming in at 250MB for $15 or 2GB for $25, and that gives you access to AT&T’s Wi-Fi network.
Meanwhile, since the iPad’s 3G chip doesn’t work on Verizon’s network, Verizon has decided to incorporate the use of the MiFi 2200: a pocket-sized portable modem that will connect up to five WiFi-enabled devices to Verizon’s network. Thanks to its handy internet-bubble-function, you can buy the iPad/MiFi bundles at 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB for $630, $730, and $830, respectively, and still have access to the internet. Or, in case you don’t want the MiFi, iPads can be bought without them from Verizon for $500, $600, and $700 respectively. MiFi bundle customers can get a no-commitment data plan that comes in at 1GB for $20 a month.
And with the iPad now being sold in other retailers like Walmart and Target, this all just leaves one question: not WHEN will you buy one, but WHO will you buy it from?
October 7, 2010 23:24 by Jeremy
As we enter the month of Halloween, it seemed only fitting for Mio I-zawa, Japanese designer, to show his latest creation: an iPhone-charging umbilical cord.
If you think the design and picture are awesome, then you should see the video of it: the cord actually moves, pushing your iPhone along with it. Best of all: it really does charge your iPhone with every nutrient-feeding-twitch.
In case you weren't in the market for just a charging cord (or if you just didn't want to read news that brought your breakfast back with it), then check out this nifty gadget: the Icon Power Pack, brought to you by IPEVO.
This external battery will plug into any iPhone 4 or previous generation, and charges with a mini-USB cable (provided). The real kicker is how it lights up when charging or being used. The front panel will show green bars lighting up when charging, and all the green bars will stay on when the battery is fully charged. When plugged into your iPhone, the bars will slowly disappear; when all four bars are flashing, the external battery has been drained and is due for another charge.
Source: The Icon Power Pack by IPEVO
If you're looking for a new iPhone cell phone charger or iPod charger, eBatts.com carries them in stock and are ready to ship.