Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The World's Smallest Laptop Adapter

Laptops are supposed to be highly portable, right? But even with a built-in battery you're never leaving home without its power adapter—and that's usually a long cable with a hefty brick somewhere along its length. They're hardly compact, but this laptop adapter from FINsix is.

It looks like an elongated version of the tiny charger Apple includes with the iPhone, but it's able to provide a laptop with 65W of power. In comparison, the MagSafe 2 power adapter included with the MacBook Air is only rated at 45W.

And FINsix's adapter doesn't have a bulky brick anywhere along its flexible cable. What you see there is everything, well, almost everything. It actually includes a 2.1A USB port on the end, so you can also use this adapter to charge your smartphone or tablet. Brilliant Pricing hasn't been nailed down yet, but when it's available starting mid-2014, not even a hefty price tag could dissuade us from upgrading our current monstrous adapters for this beauty

Product Description
The FINsix laptop charger is a full-powered AC adapter that is four times smaller and six times lighter than what is typically found on the market today. The reduced size allows for a form factor which plugs directly in to the wall and only consumes the space of one socket. This eliminates the bulky "inline brick" implementation as well as the thick AC-side cord that is commonly found on laptop chargers. Also, with its auxiliary USB port for powering other devices, this adapter replaces your phone and tablet chargers as well.

A Smartphone Battery That Runs On Human Urine

Worldwide there are over 2.5 billion without access to safe sanitation. In attempt to address this need The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are funding researches on the topic: ‘Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies’. As part of the Grand Challenges Exploration Scheme (Round 7) the Intelligent Bio Energy Group were awarded funds to support a project entitled 'Urine-tricity: electricity from urine'

Enter Bristol Robotics Laboratory in Bristol, England. Scientists there have developed technology that converts human urine into electricity that can be used to power a smartphone, as spotted by the Register's Jasper Hamill.
The scientists have demonstrated their wee-powered battery charging a smartphone. They've been awarded a grant from Bill Gates' foundation to develop the tech further.

Project Aim
The main aim of this proposal is to recover useful levels of electrical energy directly from urine, and thus convert an existing – entirely unexploited – waste into a sustainable fuel for the future, with concomitant clean water production.

To achieve this Microbial Fuel Cells (MFCs) utilize specialized, naturally-abundant microbes housed within the anodic chamber of the fuel cell as the bio-catalyst. The microbes are fed urine directly and as part of their normal metabolic process consumes the urine which generates electrons and when connected to a cathode allow a path for these electrons generating current. In addition the passing of these electrons and protons through an ion-selective membrane, (which separates the anodic and cathodic chambers of the MFC), reacts with air generating clean water.

How it works
That little round thing is called a Microbial Fuel Cell. Inside of it are micro-organisms that take the urine, break it down and output electricity.

Here's another look at the heart of the fuel cell, the part filled with microorganisms.

The full system involves piping the urine through a tube ...

... into a series of fuel cell converters, each of which houses that microbial. In addition to creating electricity, the unit expels a broken down version of the urine, (into those bottles) which make it safer to dispose of, the scientists say.

The full video where the scientist explains the process in detail:
 Source: Urine-tricity: Electricity from Urine