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Power


— Computers

"USB condom" keeps your devices safe in public ports

By - September 16, 2013 2 Pictures
Conscious that injudiciously inserting one's USB charger into just any old public port might expose one's handheld device to any manner of nasty malware (or data theft, for that matter), experimental security outfit int3.cc has come up with the USBCondom, a go-between device that creates a break between the data pins of your USB connector and those of the public USB port you're plugging into. The power connection is maintained, however, allowing you to charge your smartphone or what-have-you in a state of graceful equanimity. Read More
— Sports

The physics of the world's fastest man

By - July 25, 2013 3 Pictures
Usain Bolt is often described as the world's fastest man. The reigning Olympic champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints as well as a member of the Olympic champion 4x100 meter relay team, Bolt is the first man to win six Olympic gold medals in sprinting, and is a five-time world champion. Long and lanky at 6 ft 5 in tall, he towers above the (mostly) much shorter sprinters. How has he managed to come out on top for the past five years? A team of physicists from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) has analyzed Bolt's past performances in the 100-meter sprint to understand what makes a record-breaker. Read More
— Science

Streaming media: New fuel cell powers a mobile phone with pee

By - July 18, 2013 4 Pictures
If asked what would be a great power source for mobile phones, it’s a fair bet that most people wouldn't make urine their first choice. But that's exactly what a group of scientists at Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the UK have done. As part of a project to find new ways to provide electricity for small devices in emergency situations and developing countries they have created a new fuel cell system powered by pee. Read More
— Environment

Delft explores kite power for rural Africa

By - July 11, 2013 10 Pictures
The University of Delft has a program devoted to kite-based generation systems, with 20 years of research and development under their belt since Wubbo Ockels, the first Dutch astronaut established it. Now, members of the team are exploring practical niches where the compromises of kite-based power might pay off. One has just completed a trip through Kenya, Tanzania and Senegal discussing opportunities for rural African kite generation with governmental agencies, universities and companies in the renewables space. Read More
— Environment

Invelox wind turbine claims 600% advantage in energy output

By - May 10, 2013 2 Pictures
SheerWind, a wind power company from Minnesota, USA, has announced the results of tests it has carried out with its new Invelox wind power generation technology. The company says that during tests its turbine could generate six times more energy than the amount produced by traditional turbines mounted on towers. Besides, the costs of producing wind energy with Invelox are lower, delivering electricity with prices that can compete with natural gas and hydropower. Read More
— Science

New microbatteries combine the advantages of lithium-ion batteries and supercapacitors

By - May 8, 2013 5 Pictures
There can be little doubt that people love their mobile devices. But, by leaving them high and dry at the most inconvenient of times, this love generally doesn't extend to the batteries that power said devices. New microbatteries developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) that measure just a few millimeters in size, yet are powerful enough to power a mobile phone may be more likely to inspire a little love. Read More
— Good Thinking

New system could put dead seaweed to use as a source of power

By - May 6, 2013 2 Pictures
When it’s alive and in the ocean, seaweed serves as a habitat, spawning ground and food source for marine life. Once it gets washed ashore, however, it pretty much just rots. Typically, along beaches in tourist areas, that dead seaweed is simply gathered and taken to a landfill. Now, however, researchers from Spain’s University of Alicante have conceived of a new seaweed-removal system that has less environmental impact, and that allows the seaweed to be used as an energy source. Read More

Powerocks introduces Tarot – an ultra-thin 1500 mAh battery back-up

Keeping mobile phones charged is rapidly becoming just as profitable as making the smartphones themselves. As such, we're seeing all kinds of power banks hitting the market. We saw the Fuel charger hit Kickstarter earlier this month, which claimed to be the world's smallest battery back-up, and now a company called Powerocks is entering the fray with Tarot, which it claims is "the world's thinnest power bank." Read More
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