Tech Tidbits, Nov. 8th, 2011

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Everyone knows that technology advances so quickly that something new you buy can be obsolete in as little as a month. Here I’ll try to round-up some of the cooler developments I have seen into a nice little package, so you can stay up to date on all the crazy things being made out there. Anyways, here we go!

First up, we all know solid state drives have significant performance benefits over conventional drives. Of course the one prohibitive thing is the cost. Well, thanks to a new development by Intel, you may want to sit tight for just a bit before shelling out the moolah for a new drive. Reportedly, a new solid state drive Intel is developing will slash prices “by 40% per Gigabyte”. This is definitely a step in the right direction in high speed computing, although we will have to wait and see if the price cuts don’t have any hidden compromises in the design. Read the full article here: http://tinyurl.com/d9ct824 

 

Now here we have an interesting design for some rather…unconventional power generation. A urine powered generator that was made by four girls in Africa, you read right, a means of providing power with nothing but pee. This contraption was shown off at the Maker Faire Africa this year, and definitely puts a new spin on power generation. How much does it give? Apparently 1 liter of urine is enough to pump out 6 hours of electricity (I am assuming this is to power a lightbulb based on the picture). From what I understand, the hydrogen from the urine is extracted, and then pumped into a generator where it is used to create power. A little dangerous, yes, but if this were to be developed on a large scale, perhaps it may prove useful? Anyways, the link for this little contraption is here: http://tinyurl.com/a9gu4y7

Finally, we all love our credit cards, using them to buy all sorts of things from groceries to frivolous things on-line  Everyone knows that you spend money on a credit card, but unless you religiously keep track of all of your spending (I’ve tried many ways, and still have trouble finding a method that suits me) you won’t actually know the balance of your card until the beginning of the next month. Even if you use on-line banking, there is still a turnaround time of about 2 days at best. Well, MasterCard has just rolled out a credit card that features a display and keypad.

That’s right, a credit card with a display. As of now, the only use for it is to provide a unique authentication code to you each time you use it, which is a great security feature in my mind. In the future though, they plan on adding a feature where you will be able to check your balance on the card. Basically, you’ll be able to check you balance directly on your card without having to wait for a few nerve wracking days to figure out how much damage you’ve done to your life savings (*especially* useful for students). Full article here: http://tinyurl.com/d3fu8og

Anyways, that’s all for now! Let me know what you think. If you like it, I can keep doing these a couple of times a week. 

Cheers everyone!

-Mike

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