Americans throw away over 125 million cell phones per year. Even more strange, we have over 500 million retired cell phones sitting around our homes awaiting disposal.
This not only is an expensive and wasteful habit, it represents an avalanche of e-waste which will hit our landfills sometime soon when we collectively realize its time for spring cleaning. Cell phones are complex assemblies containing the toxic metals lead, cadmium and berillyum plus a fire retardant that actually may retard the user.
So the question becomes, when these little buggers go on the fritz, what do we do? Search out the nearest trashcan? Or try and save ourselves the hassle of trying to lie our way into warranty protection, or the expense of just buying a new phone.
A friend of mine has repaired his phone several times…he even rode is bike over the thing, but somehow brought it back to life. Check out Jim Rees’ web page devoted to repair of his cell phone. If Jim can do it, we can too.
And then there’s this article from Lance Ulanoff who gives tips on how to repair things. Read the article and laugh, because most of the time Lance is fixing broken items in under 5 minutes. Is the Â“brokenÂ” cell phone in your drawer really beyond repair?
We can create an infrastructure for repairing cell phones, we just have to invite a few hundred DIY cell phone repair techs from China to work over here for a few years. They could open kiosks at malls, Â“Cell Phone Repair While U WaitÂ”. Not quite as slick as the new iPhone, but a heck of a lot cheaper.
Many optical technologies such as camera lenses, solar cells and light emitting diodes depend in part on light being efficiently transmitted through a medium. Reflections are are a waste of that precious light.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), in Troy, NY, and semiconductor maker Crystal IS, in Green Island, NY, have developed a new type of nanostructured coating that can virtually eliminate reflections, potentially leading to dramatic improvements in optical devices.
The researchers showed that they can prevent almost all reflection by "growing" nanoscale rods projected at specific angles from a surface. The material stops reflections from nearly all the colors of the visible spectrum, as well as some infrared light. As a result the total reflection is 10 times less than it is with current coatings.
Applied to a solar cell, the new coating would increase the efficiency by a few percentage points. LEDs, already one of the most efficient ways to produce light, could also become much more efficient. A remarkable 40 percent improvement could be seen in LEDs, where a large amount of light generated by a semiconductor is typically trapped inside the device by reflections.
Via: Technology Review
Researchers at MIT led by Prof. Marin Soljacic have accomplished what Nikola Tesla envisioned over a century ago – the efficient wireless transmission of electricity. Dubbed ‘WiTricity’ (for Wireless Elecricity) by its inventors, it is the first wireless transmission of power to improve on the efficiency of radiant electromagnetic devices, which send energy indiscriminately in every direction, while not requiring direct line-of-sight like lasers.
WiTricity works on the principle of magnetic coupled resonance. The MIT team built matching copper coils to precise specifications, so that when power was applied to one coil, it produces a magnetic frequency – in the MHz range, since you wanted to know – which causes the other coil to vibrate up to 7ft (over 2 meters) away. Meanwhile, other elctromagnetic fields, such as those surrounding computers, cell phones, and human beings, remain largely unaffected.
The scientists were able to light up a 60-watt bulb that had "no physical connection" with the power-generating appliance. "It was quite exciting," Soljacic said. The process is "very reproducible," he added. "We can just go to the lab and do it whenever we want."
Aside from the implications in clutter management (who wouldn’t want to get rid of that tangle of wires behind the desk? Ugh!) there’s a green component, too – imagine a world without the need for batteries and their weight, inefficiency, short life span and toxic chemicals. Current battery technologies are around 80-90% efficient at best, losing energy through heat and self-discharge; WiTricity is currently capable of about half that, but for a proof of concept that’s pretty darn good. The group envisions a product which could supplant batteries in cell phones, Roombas, laptops, and other household items which require frequent charging.
via Linux Insider and MIT News Office
Making a short detour from our everyday-car spy images, we discovered this scoop photo on the movie website, Latino Review. According to the author, Joker will use the purple-colored 30â€™s pick-up truck in the sequel of Batman Begins, â€œThe Dark Knightâ€ which is due for release in July 2008. True or not, the pick-up looks so out of place and messed up that we couldn’t imagine anyone else driving it but Joker.
Via: Latino Review