Recharging From a Distance – will soon be possible due to a novel technology developed by WiTricity Corp. of Watertown, MA. The firm makes and licenses magnetic coils and other electronics that turn wireless charging into a built-in function of smartphones and other devices. You can recharge your smartphone or tablet without ever taking them out of your briefcase or bag. They can see to their own recharging; you just place them in the vicinity of the coil. Semiconductor company MediaTek will collaborate with them on systems for wireless charging of mobile handsets, tablets, game controllers and other devices. They are also working on wireless charging of electric vehicles and, later, for use in implanted medical devices like heart pumps. The basic technology uses the same magnetic induction as that used to recharge electric toothbrushes, but those only work at very close range, and this new one doesn’t require direct contact.
Don’t Forget Home Electronics When Spring Cleaning – Remember that your home electronics, computers and smoke detectors need upkeep as well as everything else in your home. These items are usually delicate; never use paper-based cloth to dust your speakers, TVs and other electronics. Their wood fibers can scratch; instead gently wipe with a microfiber or electrostatic cloth. Don’t put EndDust on your TV screen. Look behind your equipment to make sure vents and exhausts are free of dust and to clean the connections. Contact cleaners can make a difference, but often just unplugging cables and plugging back in can make better connections. Tubed equipment can gather dust even more readily, especially if it has no cover. Remove the tubes once in a while and clean the pins with a brass brush.
Test devices that depend on batteries, such as smoke detectors, and replace them if getting low. These devices can also get clogged with dust, insects and other debris. Gentle vacuuming might be the answer in this case. Some cleaning doesn’t use any tools, it can involve speeding up and preventing future problems with your computer by getting rid of unwanted digital clutter on it. There are many programs to delete useless files on your PC or Mac, and it’s always wise to frequently clear the cache of all your browsers.
Former iPad Is Just as Good for AV Control – and is $100 cheaper, according to Electronic House magazine. The iPad has been a game changer for the home control market at all levels, but the new iPad 2 only has a better screen, camera and processor, and those things don’t affect its use for AV and home control.
New Music Streaming Service from Creators of Skype – is called Rdio and pronounced “ar-dee-oh.” It is sort of a mix of a streaming music service and Facebook, getting all your friends involved. It has both free (with announcements) and paid services starting at $5 a month.
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