['lithium'] is in these articles:
Recharge your tech toy while on the road (or on the beach)
with Solar Technology's Freeloader.
This is solar (or USB) powered and has its own lithium battery on board
and includes about 10 different power connector adapters so it can
charge a lot of different devices.
electric cars, 0-60 in 3.7 seconds from an very expensive set of
almost 7000 lithium-ion laptop batteries
Nickle Manganese oxide batteries, may outperform NiMH batteries in
electric car applications.
Sulfur batteries may improve storage capacity by a factor of three
over current Lithium batteries
A123 Systems claims to have created a new Lithium Ion battery
that can be recharged
much faster than current batteries. This would allow one to quickly
recharge while on a trip (instead of overnight), which would also allow
vehicles to be built with smaller batteries (greatly reducing the cost
of the vehicle) since the reduced range would not be such an issue.
BatterySpace.com has a good
selection of batteries and chargers. They even have the hard to
find 9V lithium batteries that are great for smoke detectors. BatteryMart.com also has a good
One professional photographer's idea of what would make a great compact camera.
This is an interesting specification here are some thoughts about it:
- he calls for an APS-C sized sensor, which would be a very
good thing from the noise perspective (but this will make the lens
larger so he accepts a smaller zoom range). The resulting zoom
range of 28-70mm is useful for much photography (especially landscape
type work) but the 70mm end is going to be too short to appeal to a lot
of people. I have found that with the 28-210mm range of my Minolta A2 I
rarely need more zoom, and in the times I do I'm looking at something
so far away that I'd probably need a 500 or 1000mm lens to get a decent
photo anyway. Back in the late 70s and 80s when I did 35mm film
photography I typically found 135mm adequate and considered the 200mm
telephoto "exotic". The Minolta A2's lens is about the same
physical size as may 35mm camera's 50mm lens, largely because of the
film-size issue, the A2 has a smaller sensor that APS-C (but its larger
than somthing like the Canon G series), and I'm sure today that a
sensor of this size could be made with low noise up to at least
- I don't see much need for additional screw in optics (i.e
a 2x converter) as they tend to be so bulky (as big as this camera!) that
you're not going to be carrying them with you - it is better to make
the basic lens a bit bigger to get a bit more zoom range (using a
folded optical path you probably could fit a 28-150 or even 200 lens
with a bigger sensor in a pocket size camera).
- I agree with the need for standard screw-in filters, I
often make good use of a polarizing filter.
- I find his specification of only having a live-view LCD
and no optical view finder built in refreshing, he's missing two points
though, first you need the view finder to be articulated, both so you
can look down when shooting waist level and so you can look up at the
camera for an overhead shot; the second point is for you to be able to
do manual focusing the Minolta A2 shows you need at least a 900K pixel
resolution (and even then that's often not enough).
- The internal buffer should hold 10 shots in RAW, and in
motor drive mode it should pre-capture some frames (i.e. once the focus
is locked it should capture frames even before you finish pressing the
button) and save a number of these at the start of each sequence.
- The battery pack should be standard AA size (not another
custom lithium pack that needs a custom charger), using two NiMH cells
normally and regular AA cells if you get caught in a tight spot, I
wouldn't mind only getting 200-300 shots out of a single pair of NiMH
cells as they are so cheap you can always carry a few sets with you to
do something big.
- Toshiba's new SCiB batteries are an improved Li-ion design that can take a 5 minute charge (to 90%) and last for 5000 cycles (about 10 times what a conventional lithium battery does). These are being targeted at the new hybrid and electric vehicle markets. At 5000 cycles, even if you only got 100km on a charge that would be 500,000km of driving out of one car - so these will probably outlast most of the cars they get installed in. Which means there might actually be a significant used battery market. 
- Nanotech anodes in lithium batteries could increase battery capacity by a factor of 10. 
- NorhTech is planning a sub $300 laptop to join the competition with the Eee. This first laptop was not a success, too expensive for what you got, they are looking at a second attempt with a 8.9-inch screen and a $200 price point, which if realized would be a good seller. They appear to have achieved this with their Gecko EduBook which is $199 F.O.B. Thailand. This uses the Xcore86 CPU at 1GHz (only using 1.2W, so it has no fan), has an 8.9 inch 1024x600 screen, has a replaceable CPU module and is also powered by eight AA batteries (either NiMH or lithium) for 4-6 hours. It also has an internal USB socket intended to be used by OEMs to customize the Gecko for particular applications (allowing telcos to add a particular radio system). Here is a look at one showing the AA based battery pack, the SD card boot disk and the CPU module. 
sells third party replacements for a lot of camcorder and digital
camera lithium rechargeable batteries. For the Sony NP-F550
this is their replacement.
- Hitachi Maxell is working on a nano-tech lithium ion battery that might be able to store 20 times the energy of current Li-ion cells. 
- PopPhoto runs a comparison of AA batteries (both regular and rechargeable). They perform a rather screwy cost comparison: they base the cost of the rechargeables on a single use (rather than say 100 recharges) - even with this handicap rechargeables are almost the same price as disposables (though they should be about a factor of 100 less!). It is interesting to see that for digital photography the NiMH rechargeable battery always has more capacity than the one-use battery (with the exception of the more expensive one use lithium batteries). As well, their test shows that the claimed mAh capacity ratings of rechargeable batteries are not a very accurate guide, for example the Polaroid 1800mAh was the lowest claimed capacity, but it solidly out performed the Kodak 2400mAh battery. 
- A home electric motorcycle conversion project (discussed here on Engadget), achieving a 20 mile range off four lead acid batteries and a reasonable 45MPH top speed. With lithium cells this could probably get something in the 50+ miles range. 
- A technique that uses microwaves to help form lithium iron for use in lithium batteries could result in reduced manufacturing costs. 
- ZPower claims its Silver-Zinc batteries have 40% more capacity than lithium-ion. 
- From Korea comes a new twist on lithium battery design, they have found that by replacing the graphite in lithium batteries with silicon a new cell can be made with eight times the capacity. While this would be great for laptops and other portable electronics, it would be market changing for the electric car industry as it would allow the range to be increased to something like 400-800 miles which would make even a long road trip (with overnight recharging stops) quite practical. It also means that a car with "commuter range" specifications of 100-200 miles could be built at a much lower cost and weight. 
- A new design for lithium battery electrodes could greatly increase charge and discharge rates (perhaps by more than a factor of 10). This change does not require any new materials, it is just improving the way the materials are physically structured to allow for faster flow of ions. Discussed here on Slashdot, here on Engadget, announced here by MIT and discussed here on Technology Review. 
- An air-lithium battery system being developed by PolyPlus might increase storage densities by a factor of 10. Discussed here on Slashdot and here on Technology Review. 
- ReVolt is looking at starting production of small capacity zinc-air batteries in 2010 which are to have more than double the energy density of lithium cells and cost less. 
- Slashdot discusses the price difference between lithium ion batteries intended for laptops and power tools. 
- Silicon could be used to replace lithium in batteries. 
- A new electrode design could result in lithium-ion batteries that can handle 10,000 charge cycles. 
- Hitachi may have some new chemistry to improve the longevity of lithium-ion batteries. 
- Lithium-sulfur batteries could offer 4 times the capacity of lithium-ion cells. 
- Looks like hot cargo holds can lead to lithium batteries igniting, and this is believed to be the cause of at least one 747 crash. 
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