Battery Efficiency Improved 400 Times by Accident!

Everything these days uses batteries of some kind or another, from the smartphone you use to text your friends to the tablets and electronic tools you use at work or school every day. In a surprising twist, researchers at UC Irvine may have discovered a way to increase the time a battery holds the charge by complete accident.

The discovery comes as the researchers were looking at creating a solid-state battery using an electrolyte gel, similar to the ones developed by Cockrell School of Engineering in Texas. The idea was to use the gel to replace the lithium inside a battery, a component that corrodes and creates the nasty smelling ooze you get on batteries you find at the back of your kitchen draws when you go looking for just one more battery.

Using gold nanowires to store the electricity within the battery, the new design lasted through 200,000 recharges without any significant decline in battery life or corrosion, something which they can’t explain. Reginald Penner, the lead author of the paper, stated that they “don’t understand the mechanism of that yet”.

Lasting more than 400 times longer than a traditional battery, Penner explained their experiment was like pouring water between two cups, the end results was the new batteries losing only 5% of their charge over 200,000 times.

While a great start to making effective batteries, introducing gold to any electrical component increases its cost and raises the question, could this new style of battery, combining a gel with thin wires of metal, use something other than gold to achieve similar results?

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Will Shed Some Light on the Series’ Storyline

Those of you who played the entire Assassin’s Creed series so far might be baffled and confused on where the story is headed. I am a huge Assassin’s Creed fan myself and since Black Flag, everything seems to have turned into fragments and totally different stories around the world, whereas everything up to Assassin’s Creed 3 seemed to follow Desmond Miles’ present story and his ancestor’s life stories.

However, Ubisoft wanted to assure its fans that everything is connected and hinted that all of it will have a meaning and be explained in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Sure, things got a bit weird since Black Flag, when players found out that the present day character is now a Templar ‘guinea pig’, but you must have seen Shaun and Rebecca briefly during the exploration side missions around the Templar HQ.

During a GameSpot interview, creative director Marc-Alexis Cote wanted to reassure fans that the story is actually heading somewhere, though the above mentioned signs were somewhat obvious. He said that the story is divided into cycles and everything up to Assassin’s Creed 3 was the ‘Desmond cycle’, as he calls it. Black Flag was actually the transition point between cycles and beginning with Syndicate, a new cycle will start and explained in the upcoming title.

Cote did not go into too much detail, of course, but judging by the actual signs who some might not have been aware of so far and what was briefly explained during the interview, we might actually see Syndicate be released with an amazing comeback in terms storyline. So how excited are you about this?

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Tron: Legacy Motorcycle Replica Auctioned for $77,000

People pay a lot of money on things they like on the big screen. But fortunately, some of the things they buy are quire awesome. Take the bike from Tron: Legacy for example. Who wouldn’t want to own such an electrical-powered beauty? I would!

Disney’s Tron: Legacy had its debut back in 2010 and since then, there have been a few people interested in buying a replica of the light cycle. Parker Brother’s Custom Choppers are said to have sold 10 such replicas for a price tag of $55,000. Even so, it looks like others are still interested in buying more of them.

An auction held by father and son Paul and Chris Andrews that took place on the 2nd of May at RM Auctions Sotheby’s brought forth everything from model car engines to customized classic cars. Amongst them was another Tron: Legacy light cycle replica, which apparently found an owner willing to spend $77,000 on it.

The vehicle is said to run on a 96 volt electrical motor and comes with light features to recreate that Tron: Legacy look and feel of the real light cycle. Would you have bought something similar if you had the money? All I can say is this:

Thank you Geek.com for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of and tenminutes

Researchers Find iOS Flaw That Can Crash Any Device in Range

Researchers from the security firm Skycure have found a new flaw in the IOS system that effectively allows you to put any iOS 8 device in range into a never-ending boot cycle. The flaw was demonstrated at the RSA security conference in San Francisco, but the good news is that the company didn’t disclose all the details on how to perform the hack and they are working with Apple to fix the issue.

The vulnerability takes advantage of a bug in the SSL system and the researchers showed how they could make iOS devices crash as soon as they connected to a ‘bad’ hotspot. This wouldn’t be so bad as you could choose not to connect to unknown wireless networks and hotspots, that is if it wasn’t for another security issue.

The researchers combined the SSL flaw with an older exploit dubbed WiFiGate. iOS devices are pre-programmed by the carrier to automatically connect to certain networks and there isn’t a thing that you can do about it, except maybe turn your WiFi completely off. For example, AT&T customers will automatic connect to any network called attwifi and there is no way to prevent this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmgI0LaFYLA

Using those two flaws in a combination and the researcher could put any iOS device that entered the range of their manipulated hotspot into an endless boot cycle. The only way to stop it and get access back to your phone is to get out of the range of the hotspot. This might just be an annoyance if deployed at a university campus or school, but if such a thing is let lose in a financial district, then it could create some serious havoc.

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

Smartphone, Smartwatch… Smart Pedal?

CES has given us yet another ‘smart’ device. Earlier today everyone was talking about a smart belt, but now it’s all about the smart pedal. Yes, you heard me correctly, a smart pedal, for your bicycle.

The Connected Cycle pedal acts as a tracking device for your bike. That can mean tracking of the bike itself and of course fitness tracking. The pedal can be used to track down your bike if it’s stolen for example and it can also be used for things like tracking distances and producing fitness data via its companion iOS app.

On the security side of things, a push notification can be sent to your phone if your bike is moved from its last location and it can track it from there. For fitness, the pedal records things like speed, incline and distance and can produce useful data like calories burnt thanks to your cycling.

The pedal doesn’t require charging thankfully, as it apparently produces its own energy from the movement it’s subjected to. It also helpfully comes with a second identical dummy pedal, that can match your ‘smart’ one, so you don’t have odd pedals on your bike. The pedals will come in black, red, green, blue, and orange.

Pricing and a release date has not yet been revealed.

Source: MacRumors