While power technologies tend to be less glamourous than gadgets consumers shouldn’t forget the impact and importance of having solid battery technologies in the slim and trim electronic toys and tools they buy. ZPower was pleased to show off their new Silver-Zinc batteries at CES – potentially a revolutionary new product. These new batteries can be interchanged with Lithium Ion batteries but offer more power for longer periods all while reducing the environmental impact. Available soon from a yet-to-be-named laptop manufacturer.
Being a gadget-geek occasionally has its downside…such as keeping track of all your “toys” and making sure they’re always charged. Brookstone’s Charging Valet can certainly lend a hand. It’s a handsome, wooden storage unit with a hidden power surge and can hold up to six devices. Just plug their adapters (which also remain hidden) into the surge and Voila! You’ll have an elegant display for your gadgets—while simultaneously charging them. Holds MP3 players, PDAs, digital cameras, portable game consoles and more and measures 13 7/16"L x 8 7/16"W x 5 5/16"L. Available for $75 USD.
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Toshiba has announced that, as early as March, their new Super Charge ion Batteries will be launching for industrial use. The new SCiB batteries have roughly the same capacity as current generation Lithium Ion batteries, but are able to reach 90% charge in under 5 minutes. Once these filter down to consumer gadgets it will mean laptops and cell phones able to charge in mere minutes rather than the hours that both devices currently take.
The new batteries can be charged 5,000 times without damage (about 10 years of average use) and don’t have any weight or heat disadvantages that existing Lithium Ion batteries. While the new SCiB will be available in March their initial use will be industrial or automotive. It’s currently unknown how long it will be before Toshiba releases smaller form factors aimed at consumer electronics.
Rick Driscoll, the director of Florida Atlantic University’s CEOET (Center of Excellence in Ocean Energy Technology) and crew are developing underwater turbines that will create power from the Gulf Stream. They would be moored 1,000 ft. below the surface and should be capable of going through 8 billion gallons per minute. That’s enough energy to power up one third of the state of Florida. The team will be testing a prototype early next year. We wonder if, when this becomes feasible on a large scale, someone will find a way to harness it in, let’s say, a jacuzzi. We suspect the power companies would not be thrilled.
Read More | treehugger
Mophie’s new Juice Pack promises to more than double the life of your iPhone at the expense of a little pocketability. The sled style battery pack offers up an additional 250 hours of standby, 24 hours of music playback, 8 hours of talk time, 7 hours of video playback, or 6 hours of internet use. Featuring a soft grip case to help avoid those terrifying iPhone drops the Juice Pack seems like the perfect solution for anyone looking for a little extra juice out of their iPhone on long trips or while away from convenient AC power. The Power Pack is less than $100 and promises to ship by Christmas.
Most modern operating systems, including Microsoft Windows and OS X by Apple, feature technology to turn off internal devices and manage power to be more environmentally friendly and squeeze every last drop of juice out of batteries on portable computers. Unfortunately many Linux distributions don’t offer these features built in quite yet.
Enter Less Watts, a site dedicated to configuring Linux systems and machines to consume less power. Featuring tips and tricks for reducing power consumption in Linux, and links to a number of projects aimed at bringing these technologies to more and more distributions soon. The site looks to be fairly new, but has a great mailing list which looks like a great resource for anyone trying to reign in their power use on Linux boxes.
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We told you about the Eureka N!ergy Tent, which contains plugs for you to juice up your precious gadgets while you’re out camping. But what if you’re going to the beach? We bring you the Solar Beach Tote from Juice Bag, which has a solar panel built-in on the side, and allows you to—you guessed it—charge that iPod, cell phone, GPS or whatever device you just can’t leave home without. As environmentally-friendly gadget freaks, we love the idea, but we’ll have to wait until the price comes down from the rather expensive $250 USD.
Read More | The Bleeding Edge
Okay, we have been hearing a lot about dual core and quad core processors coming out of both the Intel and AMD camps. Now that Apple has released the Octo-core Mac Pro, people are wondering about the benefit of having all these cores at their disposal. In this video, we speak with AMD about what they believe is the fundamental difference between the way they do Quad Core chips as opposed to the way Intel does it. Check out the video to see how AMD feels quad core computing should be done.
Read More | The Bleeding Edge