Daily Archives: 08/31/2005

New Lithium-Ion Battery Holds Promise

Chris, we were talking about this yesterday at lunch: A new lithium-ion battery may soon see applications in hybrid cars. The current crop of hybrids use older nickel-metal hydride batteries. While lithium-ion batteries have become ubiquitous in cellphones and laptop computers because of their far greater power capacity, they become dangerously volatile when used in larger scale applications, like powering hybrid vehicles – volatile as in explosive.

But the Saphion, a new lithium-ion battery design from Valence Technologies, offers the power of lithium-ion with the safety of nickel-metal hydride. While the Saphion is not as powerful as traditional lithium-ion batteries, it provides far greater power than equivalent nickel-metal hydride batteries. The only stumbling block for major adoption in large scale use is its price.

The first customer for the Saphion is Segway, who recently introduced three new lines of Human Transporters this spring. The new battery effectively doubles the Segway’s operating range, making this gizmo suddenly seem a more useful alternative to an automobile.

Gravity-Defying Geckos

The secret ability of the gecko is revealed via high powered microscopy: Gravity-Defying Geckos Teach Scientists a Lesson. Seems the gecko is endowed with hundreds of thousands of tiny hairs that can push into and lock onto tiny imperfections and cracks, even in the smoothest of places. Scientists are hopeful this super-velcro can be used as a new adhesive, perhaps by astronauts on space walks.

It’s official: Carl & B.J. in ’06

Boy, I tell you; go on vacation for a few days and all hell breaks loose.

Looks like the other shoe dropped and Carl Gutierrez threw his hat into the governor’s race on Guam last week. The former governor is teaming up with retired judge and freshman senator B.J. Cruz. I can’t say this really surprises me, it’s been all the buzz for weeks. But I am still aghast that people are actually excited about his reentry into the political scene.