In the future, your Harley may start with a purr instead of a roar. The motorcycle of the future may run on fuel cells and create no emissions. A British company, Intelligent Energy, opened up a California sales office to sell its hydrogen fuel-cell bike, the ENV. The ENV stands for "emissions-neutral vehicle." The bike runs on hydrogen stripped from bio fuels—anything from sunflower oil to soybeans. A five-ounce can of hydrogen will power the bike up to 100 miles. Top speed is 50 mph.
The first ENV bikes are slated to appear in the United States and the United Kingdom in 2007. Retail prices will range from $6,000 to $8,000. Company officials acknowledged that finding readily-available hydrogen is a problem right now. It can be purchased from industrial chemical companies or at local welding shops, but it's not conveniently available for most consumers. California now has six hydrogen refueling stations and promises to have 100 by 2010. The current cost of fueling is $4 per tank, but that price is expected to come down to 25 cents.
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.
Advertised as the "Most Powerful Tablet Under $100," the Kindle Fire HD 6 was too tempting for the team at iFixit to pass up. Join us to find out if inexpensive means cheap, irreparable, or just down right economical. It's teardown time!
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.