Thursday, July 20, 2006

100 MPG in a converted Toyota Prius?

This article talks about supplementing the battery pack of current Hybrid Electric Vehicles by adding your own batteries. The scary part with all the recent talk about exploding Lithium based cells is that at least one company's solution is a 150-pound, 16-inch-by-33-inch box of lithium-ion batteries that fits in place of the spare tire.

That said; I want one! It wouldn't be very practical right now and certainly wouldn't save me any money, but I'd sure have a lot more stuff to play with as I drove and maintained it. Maybe I should just see if any of the DARPA Challenge vehicles are up for sale instead...

How about this electric vehicle from Tesla? They claim 250 miles per charge and 0-60 in 4 seconds for somewhere around $100,000. People are talking after Engadget posted an article this morning .

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

More info on burning Dell at Novell

According to this article on CRN, the battery in the burning Dell notebook was not manufactured by Dell. I suppose that lets Dell off the hook for this particular incident, but I wonder if that will make anyone that owns one feel better...

In the article Edward F. Moltzen writes:

I asked Novell spokesman Kevan Barney if this was, in fact, the case. Sort of, he said, but there was more to the story.

Yes, the Dell notebook caught fire and, yes, Novell's Building D was evacuated. But a security investigator who looked into it said the person who was using the notebook inserted a non-Dell battery into the unit just before it went up. "It was not a Dell battery," Barney said.

The investigation is continuing, Barney said.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dell Laptop battery trouble at Novell; aka "Venting With Flame"

After reading all the recent news about exploding and burning Li-Ion laptop batteries and this story today about Dell's new effort to try to buoy it's reputation, I decided to give this story a home online. Just to inform, not to bash anyone (my first Dell was a 286-12 back in 1988). It was sent to me on July 6th, 2006 by a fellow Amateur Radio operator in the local area.

"Building D of Novell in Provo was evacuated at about 1:30 PM today because of fire alarms set off by a Dell D600 battery "venting with flame" under normal use/charging conditions. It took the laptop out with it, of course.

Yesterday, he sent some pictures and I thought I'd share. Here's a sample:

Monday, July 10, 2006

Timely news story

I know this is old news now, but it was *relatively* new until 36 hours after I posted it! :)

In other news...

- I took our new car into the shop today to get the roof fixed after I tried to drive into our garage with my bike still on top. The bike (Cannondale F500) and the Yakima rack both survived (I rode 70 miles the next day). I hope to get some pictures back from the body shop when I pick up the car.

- Our dog caught (and killed) the neighbor's cat this morning. Unfortunately, it was the one that the kids in our cul-de-sac were most attached to.

- Just as I was going to leave for work, the sprinklers came on and I saw that we had a broken head right next to the house. Glad that cat slowed me down this morning or we would have had a nicely flooded basement!

- I found out that I'm not going to get the $50 rebate I was promised for buying a new cell phone a while back. It has taken a while because I kept forgetting to call the store and ask why I hadn't received it yet. When I purchased it, I was away from home and on my way to the airport to go on a trip. The store owner who sold it to me said that he'd send me the rebate along with the contract paperwork in the mail when he got the computer problems figured out. Unfortunately, it turns out that the deal he made me was only supposed to be valid at a "corporate" store. On the positive side, I have a new phone and didn't have to do the 2 year contract extension. Good thing, 'cause I don't really like the phone (Motorola V360) that much!