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Power

Good Thinking

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

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

Architecture

"Algae-powered" building opens in Germany

Splitterwerk Architects and engineering firm Arup have unveiled what is thought to be the world's first building to be powered partly by algae. Officially "unveiled" at the International Building Exhibition hosted in Hamburg, the design, dubbed the BIQ, has a "bio-adaptive" facade that is claimed to be a first for using algae within its glass louvers in order to generate energy, and provide shade, to a working building.Read More

Mobile Technology

SOSCharger keeps phones juiced even when there's no electricity

When there's a natural disaster or bad storm, power outages are almost guaranteed. This can be an annoyance during a minor storm, but during a more serious disaster, a lack of power can mean not being able to get in touch with friends, loved ones, and in the worst of situations, help. The SOSCharger is designed to combat this by allowing users to keep their phone charged with a simple hand crank.Read More

Electronics

Researchers increase lifespan of lithium-sulfur batteries

Technology has advanced markedly since the dawn of the silicon age, but our portable gadgets and gizmos are still largely held back by the limitations of their power source. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material and Beam Technology IWS in Dresden report progress in this regard, with the development of a new longer-lasting lithium-sulfur battery that has the potential to outperform lithium-ion batteries, at a lower cost. Read More

Computers

The Amazing Jellybean takes the guesswork out of power cycling

When the internet goes down, the first thing anyone should do is power cycle their modem and router – it seems like almost every internet problem can be fixed by simply turning everything on and off in the right order (as long as the problem is not on the ISP's end, of course). The process takes a good five minutes, between waiting and timing everything right. The Amazing Jellybean aims to make it simpler by allowing users to simply push one button, and have everything power cycled for them in the correct order.Read More

Electronics

New capacitor developed for brighter camera flashes on mobile devices

While stand-alone compact cameras are increasingly at risk of being made obsolete by smartphone cameras, they do still have their advantages. One of those advantages is the fact that, in most cases, their flashes are considerably more powerful. Smartphones may soon be catching up in that area, however, thanks to a new small-but-mighty capacitor paired with a dedicated xenon flash. Read More

Science

NASA's basement nuclear reactor

If Joseph Zawodny, a senior scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center, is correct, the future of energy may lie in a nuclear reactor small enough and safe enough to be installed where the home water heater once sat. Using weak nuclear forces that turn nickel and hydrogen into a new source of atomic energy, the process offers a light, portable means of producing tremendous amounts of energy for the amount of fuel used. It could conceivably power homes, revolutionize transportation and even clean the environment.Read More

Space

Royal Academy of Engineering says UK better prepared for solar superstorm

Britain is better prepared for a solar superstorm than many countries, including the United States. The Royal Academy of Engineering has released a multi-disciplinary report on space weather’s impact on Britain, as part of the UK National Risk Assessment. The declassified portion of the assessment shows the level of UK preparedness in the face of severe solar storms, and outlines the dangers Earth faces from superstorms and how to avoid or mitigate damage.Read More

Science

Acrobatic polymer film developed at MIT harvests energy from water vapor

A team of researchers at MIT’s David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research has developed a new polymer film that generates power from water vapor. Consisting of two polymer films, the material makes remarkably acrobatic somersaults in the presence of even tiny traces of evaporated water, opening the way for new types of artificial muscles for controlling robotic limbs or powering micro and nanoscopic devices.Read More

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