Why are we told to store batteries in the refrigerator to preserve them even though battery life seems so poor when electronics are left out in the cold?
The thing I love about batteries is that they seem so utterly unpredictable and even nonsensical - as if to defy all logic - but once you understand their true nature, they make perfect sense. The first thing we must remember is that all batteries are little chemical power generators - as such, they are subject more to the rules of chemistry than they are electromagnetics. One of the common laws of chemistry is that reactions generally speed up when they get warm and slow down when they get cold. Such is the life of a battery. If you want to keep all those good little electrons bottled up tight inside the battery, then keep the batteries cold. The reactions which keep the electrons flowing slow down, making that little thing we call shelf life a lot longer. Remember, just because the battery isn’t hooked up to a circuit, doesn’t mean that it isn’t using up some of its capacity all the time.
Of course, this doesn’t explain why your cell phone battery or camera battery doesn’t seem to last very long when left out in the snow. The answer here lies not in the storage, but in the usage. If your phone or camera is turned off when you leave it on the ice in the middle of a Minnesota winter AND you don’t turn it on until the battery warms up, then you are golden. The problem is not with storing batteries in the cold, but rather trying to use them when they are cold. Remember when batteries are cold and they are asked to spit out a bunch of electrons, they use up a lot of their energy just trying to push the electrons out through the cold and they waste a lot of their potential. Unfortunately, once your potential is gone, it doesn’t come back.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
If you didn't realize that PowerPoint presentations are inherently hilarious, you have to see Don McMillan take one apart. McMillan -- aka the Technically Funny Comic -- worked for 10 years as an engineer before he switched to stand-up comedy.
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge was a Washington State suspension bridge that opened in 1940 and spanned the Tacoma Narrows strait of Puget Sound between Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula. It opened to traffic on July 1, 1940, and dramatically collapsed into Puget Sound on November 7, just four months after it opened.
Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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