To get in the mood for this one, I've put on an old favorite, a deep bass track by Dead Prez. It turns out the song's title, and main refrain--"It's Bigger Than Hip Hop"--applies to the power of music in a very literal sense as well.
The acoustical vibrations that are particularly pervasive in the heavy bass lines of hip-hop penetrate our bodies and can then be captured and stored as electricity to power implanted medical devices. Researchers out of Purdue have built a device, which they are unveiling at the IEEE MEMS conference in Paris … Read more
The Yokohama Marine Tower was lit up Wednesday night courtesy of electricity from the batteries in a Nissan Leaf.
Nissan is lending some battery power to the local 106-meter-tall Japanese landmark in Yokohama, the capital city of the Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan, which is located about 27 miles south of Tokyo.
In fact, the tower's night twinkle will be powered by a Nissan Leaf channeling electricity to the tower from its batteries via a connected power control system until November 6.
After a rocky start with Android, AT&T has slowly started embracing the platform and its potential. Starting earlier this year with the Atrix 4G and continuing right up to the new Samsung Infuse 4G, the carrier is showing great momentum. Things look to get even better this summer as a trio of new HTC devices are expected to come to market, including a 10-inch tablet.
The first handset to keep an eye on will be the HTC Lead, with its 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4.3-inch display, 768MB RAM, and a 5-megapixel camera. Falling right in line with today's top Android phones, the Lead also looks to run Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) and offers support for Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and Bluetooth 3.0 when it arrives. As terrific as this one sounds, it's actually lacking when compared to its bigger brother, the HTC Holiday.
The Holiday is expected to have a slight edge in nearly every aspect, putting it at the top of the Android food chain when it debuts. Among the details anticipated for this handset are a larger, 4.5-inch qHD display (960x540), 1GB RAM, and an 8-megapixel camera and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera. Like the HTC Lead, the Holiday will also run Android 2.3.4, presumably with the latest version of HTC's Sense UI. … Read more
Sales Leads Info Tracker Express Edition claims to help sales professionals track their leads. Although it works--mostly--there's nothing particularly impressive or notable about it. We have trouble imagining that any serious salesperson would find it very useful.
The program's interface is plain, comprising a series of text boxes and a handful of buttons. For each lead, users enter the product, company name, contact information, sales strategy, and so on. The saved records are displayed in a separate pane, labeled by company name. Users simply click on each individual entry to view its details. We like the fact that … Read more
Talk about the rubber hitting the road. Researchers from Princeton and Caltech have come up with a power-generating rubber material that could harness walking and other movement to charge electronic devices.
The material is made from nanoribbons composed of lead zirconate titanate, or PZT, a ceramic substance that's "piezoelectric," meaning it generates an electrical voltage when pressure is applied. The "piezo-rubber chips" are embedded in clear silicone rubber sheets that produce electricity when flexed.
The scientists--who detail their findings in the new issue of Nano Letters, a journal of the American Chemical Society--say the rubber sheets could one day appear in shoes that power cell phones and other mobile electronic devices as the user walks or runs.
What's more, "the new electricity-harvesting devices could be implanted in the body to perpetually power medical devices, and the body wouldn't reject them," said Michael McAlpine, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton who led the project.
For example, the biocompatible material could be placed next to a person's lungs and utilize breathing motions to power pacemakers, the scientists say. That could reduce the need for surgery to replace batteries in the device.
The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) in Oakland, Calif., announced it has reached a legal agreement with Chrysler and the three largest producers of automobile wheel-balancing weights (Plombco, Hennessey, and Perfect Equipment), requiring the companies to end the use of leaded wheel weights in California by the end of 2009.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), about 65,000 tons of lead wheel weights are in use on cars and trucks in the U.S., and it is estimated that at least 3 percent of wheel weights fall off of cars and trucks. USGS states that the discarded … Read more
Kids who want to play CSI can use a kit that shows how to dust for fingerprints, blowing away excess powder in the process. The play dust, however, contains enough asbestos to trigger cancer later in life, according to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, which tracks toxic ingredients in consumer products.
The powder was found to contain as much as 7 percent of tremolite, one the most fatal forms of asbestos. One-time exposure has been linked with developing lung disease and mesothelioma years or decades later. The toxicant was found in six of eight samples tested by the Asbestos Disease … Read more
An injection of graphite foam is giving new life to the venerable lead acid battery, according to Firefly Energy.
The Peoria, Ill.-based company has come up with a way to coat the membrane, a fan-like lead lattice that allows the battery to generate electrons, with graphite foam. This change results in a more efficient battery that can extract more electricity from the electrolyte, release more electricity per charge, and endure more charging cycles. The battery also will last longer. The foam gives the membrane a larger surface area for reactions.
Firefly's Oasis batteries are designed for long-haul trucks. … Read more
Don't drink out of the some of coffee cups at West Coast Green.
The organization running the conference ordered a bunch of paper coffee cups to use at the conference, which took place in San Francisco this week. Unfortunately, the organization ordered the cheapest ones. They came from China with a warning on the bottom: caution contains lead. Sarah Suzanka, the author of "The Not So Big Life" and one of the hosts of the conference, asked people in the audience to come up with ideas for ways to use them.
Recycling after all is a big … Read more