I recently bought a Bell Spinfit bike speedometer for $16 at Kmart, a store near my house that I usually loathe for being out of the most common items. The AG12 1.5 volt battery out of the box had about a day's worth of power left so I tried a few stores for a replacement. Best Buy, famous for untrained and unknowledgeable sales people, didn't have it and urged me to go to CVS, which had some batteries that looked close, but did not exactly match the AG12 designation. I later discovered AG12 is a Chinese battery number. A guy at CircuitCity at least had good advice - try RadioShack. In my experience, the sales people at CircuitCity are superior to Best Buy's. I don't go to Besy Buy much anymore.
Being the persistent SOB that I am, I decided to go back to Kmart and get some satisfaction. After all, it sold me the defective battery. The speedometer was installed and working so I was reluctant to put more time in to return it. It's a nifty item and Kmart has for $1 less than Amazon. The Kmart store manager (Kim?) gave me $4 to buy a new battery, a fair settlement. So I strutted down to Radio Shack 400 feet away and the sales person instantly knew that an AG12 was an Energizer 386, the one I refrained from taking a chance on at CVS. I paid $5 for it. So a couple of gallons of gas and an hours later and a buck poorer, I was up and running. I usually use Radio Shack for niggling purchases like this, but maybe should try some big ticket items there, too.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.