Monthly Archives: February 2015

New paper-like material could boost electric vehicle batteries

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering have developed a novel paper-like material for lithium-ion batteries. It has the potential to boost by several times the specific energy, or amount of energy that can be delivered per unit weight of the battery.

The Lancet: Scientists report bionic hand reconstruction in 3 Austrian men

Three Austrian men have become the first in the world to undergo a new technique called “bionic reconstruction,” enabling them to use a robotic prosthetic hand controlled by their mind, according to new research published in The Lancet. All three men suffered for many years with brachial plexus injuries [1] and poor hand function as a result of motor vehicle and climbing accidents

Here’s why you need to stop turning your computer off at night

Each time I pick my long-suffering MacBook up and put it on my lap to feel the warmth of its overworked insides, I feel a pang of guilt for being the worst at remembering to turn it off more than maybe once or twice a week. But in reality, the practice of regularly shutting your computer down and booting it back up is not without its dangers – all that work can actually stress a computer out. So what should we do to ensure the longevity of the machines that keep our work (and home) lives humming along? Simon Hill from Digital Trends took this (digital) age-old question to the experts.

The short answer? “It depends on how often you use it,” tech support guy Steven Leslie, from Geek Squad, told him. (Being Australian, I had no idea what a ‘Geek Squad’ was, but it turns out they’re a group of computer technicians who run a 24-hour support service out of the US.)

“If you use your computer multiple times per day, it’s best to leave it on. If you use it for a short time – say an hour or two – just once a day, or even less, then turn it off,”says Leslie.

And here’s why there’s a difference. Leaving a computer on all the time, day and night, is stressful for your computer, but it’s a constant stress. If you’re not making things worse by overloading your computer with a stream of memory-munching programs, it will steadily power its way through. But if you’re turning your computer on every morning – or multiple times a day – and expecting it to work for many hours a day over several years, that