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How About a Crab In Your Battery?

Sodium-ion batteries made from the shells of crabs and other crustaceans could soon replace lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles.
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 (full fact-check in progress).
Crustacean remains could become a 100% recyclable energy source

Two studies carried out in quick succession by American scientists and then Chinese and Japanese researchers have revealed that the shells of certain crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimps and lobsters) could revolutionise the automotive industry in the years to come.

The market for batteries for electric vehicles is a fast growing sector. At present, these trendy cars are powered by lithium-ion batteries. But these batteries are often criticised for their manufacturing costs, their propensity to consume scarce resources, their risk of catching fire and their toxic materials that are difficult to recycle.

However, shellfish residues such as chitosan could eventually replace graphite, an essential mineral for producing lithium-ion batteries.

Chitosan is a marine fibre that is already being used commercially as a dietary supplement to bind fat and lower cholesterol. During the research, it was converted into carbon to form the anode of the sodium-ion battery. In other words, this means that chitosan can also act as an electrolyte and as a catalyst to move ions more efficiently between the cathode (negative electrode) and anode (positive electrode) of a battery.

These sodium-ion batteries would be cheaper and fully recyclable. They could reduce the cost of an electric vehicle by 10%. However, scientists still need to improve the performance of sodium-ion batteries before they can compete with lithium-ion batteries.

A triple goal: reduce costs, gain performance and decrease environmental waste

The discovery augurs a significant economic and ecological advantage over lithium-ion batteries. Chitosan is often discarded as waste by the food industry, but it could find a second life by being recycled in the manufacture of sodium-ion batteries. This would also reduce dependence on scarce raw materials such as lithium and cobalt, which are used in abundance in lithium-ion batteries.

Scientists continue to work on developing these new batteries to make them more efficient and up to the standards needed to be a viable alternative to lithium-ion batteries.

Sodium-ion batteries from the French company Tiamat are already in development and promise faster recharging while reducing their environmental impact. The world leader, the Chinese company CATL, is launching mass production of the new generation Qilin battery in 2023, which will provide 1,000 kilometres of range and recharge in just 10 minutes. This technological innovation is expected to be a milestone in the recent history of the sodium-ion battery.

What are the Benefits of Browsing using Virtual Private Networks?

Without a VPN your internet usage can be easily monitored by your Internet Service Provider, surveillance agencies, hackers and advertisers.
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A Virtual Private Network allows you to be safe and bypass restrictions

In today’s world, accessing the internet has become a daily routine for many. Though the internet has a lot of advantages, it also carries some dangers as well. In order to stay safe online, many people make use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. This service creates a secure connection between your devices and the internet, making it a popular option for users who prioritize security and privacy.

At the heart of the VPN service is the VPN server. A VPN server is a server that establishes a protected network connection when using public networks. Instead of sending your internet connection through your personal Internet Service Provider (ISP), a VPN creates a secure connection between your devices and the internet. This secured connection is useful for privacy and security purposes, as any data transferred over the internet through the VPN server is encrypted.

The encryption protocols used by a VPN server help keep your passwords and other valuable personal data away from prying eyes. By routing your internet traffic through a VPN tunnel, the VPN server adds an extra layer of protection to your online activities, including web browsing, email, and file-sharing.

Beyond security, using a VPN server also improves accessibility. For instance, some websites or online services can be accessed from certain locations only. A VPN service can help bypass these restrictions by providing users with local IP addresses. In doing so, users can stream or access online content without geographic limitations.

A VPN server is a powerful tool internet users can leverage to secure their online activities and encrypt their internet traffic. It adds an extra layer of security for those who prioritize privacy and enables them to access online content without geographical restrictions.

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Artificial Intelligence Listening to Your Car – The Future of Preventative Maintenance?

A US-based startup is the first in the world to develop an automated sound-diagnosis solution for early detection of vehicle malfunctions.
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The interior of a car engine
A new mechanic in town: could AI take over identifying problems by tracking vehicle sounds?

A Delaware-based startup called V2M is developing a new system for monitoring the operating noises of automobiles using AI. This is similar to how expert mechanics have traditionally been able to diagnose some mechanical problems by listening to the sound of a car’s engine.

The emerging technology could increase road safety for vehicle-users. Data shows that 27% of accidents caused by malfunctions could be avoided by early detection of their related mechanical noises.

The prototype system being tested uses two electroacoustic sensing modules. These are located in the front and rear of the vehicle, and are connected to a control unit in the middle. The system continuously makes analog recordings, which are then converted into digital signals and sent to an online server for analysis by AI-based software. If issues are detected, the relevant decision-makers will be immediately notified and a report will be created.

The idea for the automated system was conceived by engineer Peter Bakulov in 2012. At first, he saw an opportunity to partially replace the work of a consultant advisor at his dealership. However, as he delved deeper into the potential of the idea, he decided to turn it into the thesis for his Ph.D. work and began to develop a scientific foundation for the product over the next nine years.

V2M has successfully obtained a patent in the United States for their system. They have a vision of partnering with leading automakers to integrate their technology as a standard part of vehicle equipment. This would be similar to the GPS systems currently installed in every car coming off the production line.

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50 Years of Connectedness: The Cellphone Call That Sparked a Tech Revolution

Inventor Martin Cooper created history's first mobile phone that allowed you to communicate while on the move.
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Businesswoman in an office environment taps her cellphone in order to make an important call
Unbelievable advancements in 50 short years: the rise of the cellphone

The world’s first cellphone call was made almost exactly 50 years ago. It was made on April 3, 1973, by the Head of Motorola’s Communications Systems Division, Martin Cooper. The call was made to Cooper’s business rival Joel Engel, the director of AT&T’s cellular program. Martin Cooper walked on a street in New York while using a prototype cellphone to surprise Joel Engel with a historic call.

Martin Cooper wanted to create a mobile phone that would give people freedom to move around and call from wherever they wanted to. The vision became reality and has been surpassed with smartphones which place the power of a computer in peoples’ pockets.

The first cellphone that was released to the public was the DynaTAC 8000X, which cost $4000 at the time and required 10 hours to charge. The sole function of this brick-like device was to make calls, and it could only provide 30 minutes of talk time to its users. This phone was revolutionary because it was portable and could be carried around unlike its predecessors which were large and stationary.

In the past 50 years, cellphones have undergone significant transformations. They have become smaller, more affordable and more powerful. Evolution in technology means that modern-day cellphones have an ever-increasing impact on our day-to-day lives. This includes our work, social lives and our ability to access information. To understand how much we use our cellphones, recent research shows that the average US adult checks their phone 344 times a day.

These diverse societal changes can be traced back to one cellphone call 50 years ago. A remarkable moment in history that marked the beginning of a modern technological revolution that continues to transform the world.

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