Battery power in home tools is critical. Remember those first power drills screwdrivers. They could barely turn themselves much less a screw. There's nothing worse than being in the middle of a home project and have your cordless drill crap out. The worst offender for premature wimping out are cordless vacs, namely the Black & Decker DustBuster. I have two 7.2 volt DustBusters and they a both don't suck, BUT THEY"RE SUPPOSED TO!!! I get two minutes max of sufficient power to make using them worthwhile. In other words, I get about a third of my car done of my car before the &^%#%@) unit dies. The earlier 4.8 volt DustBuster was useless junk and the 7.2 volt units didn't improve on it much. Somehow the 7.2 volt unit earned three and half stars in Amazon reviews…maybe I got two lemons. Black & Decker has a huge line of corded and cordless portable vacs. In cordless, they come in many voltages now: 9.6, 14.4, 15.6 and 18 volts. The 18 volt PHV1800 gets four and a half stars on Amazon's user reviews, but costs $55 while less energized units are consider less.
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.