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World's Smallest Battery Created

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the only-need-fifty-thousand-of-them-to-power-a-phone dept.

Power 77

Zothecula writes "Because battery technology hasn't developed as quickly as the electronic devices they power, a greater and greater percentage of the volume of these devices is taken up by the batteries needed to keep them running. Now a team of researchers working at the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies has created the world's smallest battery. 'It consists of a bulk lithium cobalt cathode three millimeters long, an ionic liquid electrolyte, and has as its anode a single tin oxide (Sn02) nanowire 10 nanometers long and 100 nanometers in diameter.' (Abstract in Science.) Although the tiny battery won't be powering next year's mobile phones, it has already provided insights into how batteries work and should enable the development of smaller and more efficient batteries in the future."

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77 comments

Incorrect (2, Funny)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527602)

the tiny battery won't be powering next year's mobile phones

Clearly somebody hasn't seen the designs for the iPhone Femto.

I'm sure I left them around here somewhere...

Shit. I vacuumed them up.

Re:Incorrect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527878)

Why are the designs so small?

Re:Incorrect (2)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527882)

This is all an attempt to capitalize on this week's DVD release of Knight and Day.

Re:Incorrect (1, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528276)

This is all an attempt to capitalize on this week's DVD release of Knight and Day.

Was that a movie or TV show of some kind? Is that the one with that guy from Valkyrie - the Movie?

I liked that one. I wonder if they're going to make Valkyrie 2?

Re:Incorrect (1)

bobzaguy (1314455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34541722)

Wagner already wrote the complete story of the Valkyries in the 1800s. It's called the Ring Cycle. Sadly for you it's an o p e r a.

Re:Incorrect (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34542366)

Sadly for you it's an o p e r a.

Opera is the highest form of human expression. It is the king of arts.

Parsifal is my favorite of Wagner's work. The end of Act 1 and the beginning of Act two as the old knight and Parsifal walk through the forest and he asks "What is the Grail?" in those four ascending notes brings me to my knees every time. I believe that section of Parsifal is maybe my favorite bit of music (with the first three songs on Iggy and the Stooges Raw Power being a close second).

I was raised in large part by an Italian grandfather who considered himself to be an opera buffo tenor. I learned the stories of operas the way other kids learn fairy tales. I could sing the climactic arias from Pagliacci and Cavalleria before I could spell.

In my early twenties, playing in punk rock bands, I used to amuse my bandmates by performing Nessun Dorma or recitativo from il Barbieri.

Be careful when making assumptions about other peoples' tastes.

Re:Incorrect (1)

zelda43 (794209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34544842)

You are very fortunate to have had such an early exposure to classical music and thought, and such a cultured grandfather.

Re:Incorrect (1)

bobzaguy (1314455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34552302)

sorry for that...

Re:Incorrect (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527978)

And sadly you just hit the nail on the head with what is wrong with today's mobile devices: that too many like Jobs look at them as fashion accessories instead of actually useful devices. I mean seriously, how many here would be happy for an extra couple of ounces added to their phone for an extra half a day or more of battery life? While our phones are being tasked with doing more and more the fashionista insist on giving us Kate Moss battery designs. Hell good luck finding a smart phone that doesn't have an iSliver of a battery.

Until something like TFA comes out that will let iSliver batteries actually carry a decent charge I really don't think a step back from the shrinkage is too much to ask. after all what good is having all these functions on our "mobile" devices if it causes them to go through a charge like shit through a goose and makes us carry a charger around everywhere just to use the thing?

Re:Incorrect (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528240)

"I really don't think a step back from the shrinkage is too much to ask"

Especially since it's been done before [blogspot.com] .

Re:Incorrect (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528290)

and just where would you put that extra battery?

it won't fit comfortably in your pocket anymore. so maybe a hip holster or purse. The whole idea of smaller phones is so that you can carry them without having to buy a holster for the damn things.

And if it wasn't for jobs there would be no android or windows 7 you wouldn't have a smart phone you would have something like like the sidekick, or windows mobile 6. you need someone who not only thinks outside the box but is willing to actually build what was dreamed up. very few in the industry are willing to do that now.

Re:Incorrect (2)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34529230)

I tested your theory by fastening my htc desire to an lg renoir with an elastic band. Still fits in my pocket and is not too heavy.
I have used holsters before ( for crackberry and nokia n95 ), and found that it just put the phones in harm's way ( broke the crackberry's screen when I shoved a box with my hip ) and got tangled with seat belts and cables and door handles. Usually the holsters would spit the phone out onto the floor or the holster itself would fall in two.
 

Re:Incorrect (3, Funny)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 3 years ago | (#34529646)

I want my phone to be heavy enough that if I knock somebody down with it, they stay down.

Re:Incorrect (1)

Artifice_Eternity (306661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530230)

And sadly you just hit the nail on the head with what is wrong with today's mobile devices: that too many like Jobs look at them as fashion accessories instead of actually useful devices.

Really? Have you ever used an iPhone? It's one of the most useful phones ever made. It was certainly head and shoulders ahead of any other smartphone when it came out in terms of functionality; other companies have been playing catch-up since Jobs redefined the entire product category.

I'm not saying iPhones are without flaws, but to say that they're designed merely as "fashion accessories" is totally wrong.

Re:Incorrect (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531764)

I'm not saying iPhones are without flaws, but to say that they're designed merely as "fashion accessories" is totally wrong.

Neither is he. What he's saying is that it's been Apple's general trend that, if function should come at the cost of form, that form tends to win.

Personally, I got a high-capacity battery for my Droid Incredible. I loved the form factor of the handset as it shipped out of the box. However, the phone ate through battery life at a nearly unusable pace. The new battery pack brings the battery life to where it needs to be (i.e. still having a usable charge when I get home at night), but the touch-only phone is nearly as thick as my HTC Rhodium, and that one has a slide-out keyboard. Form won out on the Incredible too.

It's the general trend that's a problem. Remember, there were plenty of people who carried around "Zac Morris" sized handsets in their day. Palm had a nice industry around PDAs, nearly all of which were larger than modern handsets and didn't include a cellular modem inside them. I'm def on board with the GP here; an extra 0.1 inches on a cell phone shouldn't be the huge deal it'd inevitably be made out to be, should it yield another 90 minutes of battery life.

Charge builds on the tip, wire grows (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527612)

amazing and totally unexpected, just like penis

Re:Charge builds on the tip, wire grows (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527910)

Is that the world's smallest battery in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Developing new batteries (4, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527616)

There is a reason why battery technology hasn't developed as fast as the technologies that use them; packing more and more energy into a given volume is a dangerous thing to do. When we pack a lot of energy in a (at least temporarily :-) stable state into a given volume, we tend to call those things "explosives". There's a fine line to tread here, and the more-efficient thing to do is reduce wastage than try to push battery abilities.

We could always use a different form of energy storage, of course, but nuclear powered cellphones don't have customer appeal :)

Simon

Not realy, Simon. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527686)

Energy itself is treated as a proprietary source and is a industry-guarded secret. The reason battery technology "appears" to have not progressed is because it is originally the first tier of technology that was perfected and all we are seeing today is the inefficient and momentary implementations. If you had known that value of Energy that was efficiently or freely collected, then it doesn't matter how inefficient your appliance or function implementations would ever be manifest. The way it is now, miniaturization is doing more to ruin the economy by engineering non-durrable devices to undermine the service industry as a way to terrorize the State from revenue collection. Foremost, exported factories have hurt the economy the most because existing privateers are not able to compete with the otherwise slave labor.

I've made my own batteries all the time, I've even many mechanical spring-loaded and pneumatic implementations to have a more redundant source of power in the case electrical devices are rendered neutral to their function. If you want to see a great source of EMF-harnessed energy that has been used for a long time, consider Methernitha Testatica or Hummingbird Motor or even GEET Carbeurator with related Heat Exchangers.

I realy want to own electrical devices that don't need specialty un-American tools and Microscopes to fix them when "suddenly Salt Water.

Re:Not realy, Simon. (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528302)

I'll have whatever he's drinking, please.

Re:Developing new batteries (3, Interesting)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527708)

There is a reason why battery technology hasn't developed as fast as the technologies that use them; packing more and more energy into a given volume is a dangerous thing to do. When we pack a lot of energy in a (at least temporarily :-) stable state into a given volume, we tend to call those things "explosives". There's a fine line to tread here, and the more-efficient thing to do is reduce wastage than try to push battery abilities.

They're only called explosives if they rapidly release that energy. NiCad batteries for example are more dangerous than alkaline batteries simply because a dead short would heat up very quickly. Same for Lithium with the added danger of the battery itself burning. Increasing energy density is still very desirable - for example not having the battery in a car weighing 2-tons by itself.

Re:Developing new batteries (4, Informative)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527710)

There is a reason why battery technology hasn't developed as fast as the technologies that use them; packing more and more energy into a given volume is a dangerous thing to do.

Not necessarily. What you want is something that is energy dense yet kinetically stable. Explosives are the opposite. Explosives deliver small amounts of power really fast. For example, the best explosives (according to wiki) are around 16 MJ/L and most around 3-5 MJ/L. Gasoline is at 34 MJ/L. If you want something that stores a lot of energy and won't explode, look no further than a pile of scrap aluminium. Aluminium stores roughly 83 MJ/L. You wouldn't be scared to have a ton of aluminium lying around behind your house, but that block could store enough energy to run your house for a year.

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527716)

small amounts of power

Should be energy.

Re:Developing new batteries (4, Interesting)

mu22le (766735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528286)

[...]. Aluminium stores roughly 83 MJ/L. You wouldn't be scared to have a ton of aluminium lying around behind your house, but that block could store enough energy to run your house for a year.

How would you extract power from a ton of aluminum? (honest question :)

Re:Developing new batteries (3, Informative)

Rhywden (1940872) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528414)

Burn it. It's hot enough that it will rip the oxygen from water, thus making it impossible to quench an aluminum fire with mere water.

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

mu22le (766735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528820)

I think I have an even better idea: just annihilate it using a ton of anti aluminium, you can potentially extract the theoretical maximum energy (mc^2, the chemical binding energy is peanuts by comparison) from it.

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530638)

That'd shut people up about the 3$ a gallon bitching.

Re:Developing new batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34529120)

Take pictures of it with its gay paramour.

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

Black Gold Alchemist (1747136) | more than 3 years ago | (#34529322)

Al-air fuel cells [wikipedia.org] . If could improve the technology to make it more efficient (its currently 40% aluminium to electricity), we could see a future where aluminium is a transportation fuel.

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530948)

I like the direct borohydride fuel cell [wikimedia.org] idea, myself. It would use sodium borohydride as fuel, which is very energy dense [wikimedia.org] (and the fuel cell is efficient). The only problems are that converting the "waste" (sodium metaborate) back into borohydride is difficult, and that it requires 70'C temperatures to work.

Re:Developing new batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530288)

Grind it up and mix it with 3 tons of iron oxide [wikipedia.org] then ignite.

Re:Developing new batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34531850)

Powder the aluminium, add some iron oxide, stick a magnesium igniter in it and there's some power.

Re:Developing new batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34531910)

Aluminium flakes/powder is highly flammable.

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

N Monkey (313423) | more than 3 years ago | (#34532882)

[...]. Aluminium stores roughly 83 MJ/L. You wouldn't be scared to have a ton of aluminium lying around behind your house, but that block could store enough energy to run your house for a year.

How would you extract power from a ton of aluminum? (honest question :)

Thermite [wikimedia.org] is sometimes used for welding.

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

bobzaguy (1314455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34541838)

carefully (but artistically) wrap it, as foil, around 1000 modern ballet dancers (2# per) and add Copeland's Rites of Spring Ballet music. Then attach a power ranger type plug to the last dancer in line and tell the rest of the dancers to hold hands to complete the circuit.

Re:Developing new batteries (2)

Fallingwater (1465567) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528572)

There is a reason why battery technology hasn't developed as fast as the technologies that use them; packing more and more energy into a given volume is a dangerous thing to do.

That's not the reason. Keeping several dozen litres of easily flammable liquid in a tank and sending it to the engine by means of thin rubber tubing is dangerous too, but we do that all the time. If lithium batteries could be made with a much higher energy density than they have, they could always be placed inside armored containers - a bit like we do with LPG-powered vehicles. The reason is simply that the technology isn't there yet.

When we pack a lot of energy in a stable state into a given volume, we tend to call those things "explosives".

Not necessarily. If we could put as much research in LiFePO4 cells as it's gone in LiIon during the years, it's a safe bet they'd have a much higher density than they have now (approximately half that of LiIon), while still being perfectly safe. The only way a LiFe cell can start a fire is if it's misused - say, to send a whole lot of energy through a thin wire, that overheats and sets fire to something nearby. The cell itself can be folded, spindled and mutilated with no consequences. The danger is not in the amount of energy itself, it's in how it's stored. A log of wood has a lot of energy stored in it, but you're not scared by wood, are you?

There's a fine line to tread here, and the more-efficient thing to do is reduce wastage than try to push battery abilities.

Reducing wastage is certainly a noble goal, but physics has limits, and once you reach them the only possible solution is to pump more amps in your application.

We could always use a different form of energy storage, of course, but nuclear powered cellphones don't have customer appeal

It comes to mind that a miniaturized radioisotope generator could probably power a modern cell phone for years at an end. Of course, few people would want something containing a radioactive Strontium pellet near their 'nads, no matter how much protection it had...

Re:Developing new batteries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34529658)

I did the math a long time ago, one dull afternoon. I'll have to redo it again, since I threw away the idea and notes afterwards.

How much Strontium-90 does it take to generate 1KWh? I came to the conclusion it requires more than a hundred pounds of Strontium-90, and that's assuming some 100% efficient way to convert radiation into usable electricity. This problem arises from the half-life of Strontium-90 being too long. A shorter half-life generally means more energy per second.

So, if in some imaginary alternate reality Strontium-90 had a half-life 10x shorter, it would take 10x less mass to generate the same power output (instantaneous output, not "total").

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

kvezach (1199717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531020)

Now try Polonium-210 :)

It spits out alpha particles at 5.4 MeV, and has a half-life of 138 days. To compare, Strontium-90 has a half-life of 28 years and emits two electrons at sum energy of 2.8 MeV.

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530618)

They'd sell like hotcakes in the middle east...

Re:Developing new batteries (2)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530632)

On a more serious note. Battery life span needn't be so poor from a physics POV. If my laptop battery life stayed at 9 hours I'd be very happy with it. The fact that it hovers around 45minutes today is upsetting. The same goes for cars. Possibly more so due to the huge investment. If they change the replacement cycle for batteries on electric cars from 2years to 10 it would be HUGE.

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34536126)

What type of electric car battery needs to be replaced every 2 years? That's virtually unheard of. Even lead-acid batteries last longer than that. First generation NiMH EV packs have been on the road for 14 years and counting. The latest round of EVs coming to market in 2011 typically warranty the battery for 8 years.

10 year battery life with 30% capacity loss or less after that time is easily achievable. Maybe you're abusing those laptop batteries more than you think.
=Smidge=

Re:Developing new batteries (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34542350)

One time I got hit by an SUV in the winter and twisted to land on my arms instead of my backpack to save my laptop.... So you may have something there. Made sure my computer made it to post before I noticed I was bleeding. Ok... pretty sure its my fault. But still! I usually use the power cord :/

Also, I was thinking about LiON not NiMH or lead which do last longer. I was under the impression that you could expect around 60% capacity by the 4 year mark. Which for a car that is already severely handicapped by range could mean the difference between making your daily trip and not.

If 8 years is typical for cars coming out I'll be impressed.

Smallest battery created? (2)

igreaterthanu (1942456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527618)

As if before this new battery existed there didn't already exist a battery that was the smallest.

Re:Smallest battery created? (3, Funny)

Plunky (929104) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527998)

Yeah but this one powers the worlds smallest electric violin,
and it's playing the worlds saddest tune today,
for the worlds second smallest battery..

How do you charge the world's smallest battery? (4, Funny)

Crash McBang (551190) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527636)

Scuff your feet and touch it to a doorknob?

Re:How do you charge the world's smallest battery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527866)

It doesn't work that way Little Jimmy:

http://hubpages.com/hub/Uses-of-Static-Electricity

How small is it in layman's terms? (5, Funny)

Kufat (563166) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527664)

Scientists tell us that the sheer number of "A"s required to describe this battery would fill, like, a bunch of lines.

Re:How small is it in layman's terms? (5, Funny)

splerdu (187709) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527780)

Aaaaaaaaa! [wikia.com] : Best wiki article ever.

Re:How small is it in layman's terms? (1)

Mspangler (770054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528954)

Aaaaaaaaa!

Aunt Annie's ardent aqua alligator? I'm still short a few letters though.

Re:How small is it in layman's terms? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34531156)

This is Slashdot... where is the obligatory extrapolation? Count the volume difference in AA vs AAA and go on down!

insights into how batteries work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527668)

"insights into how batteries work"

I would have hoped a team of "Battery Researchers" would have some insight into how batteries work already.

Nothing changes (1)

mbstone (457308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527690)

It may be the world's smallest battery, but it still won't be included.

Wire? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527750)

nanowire 10 nanometers long and 100 nanometers in diameter

That's a mighty chubby wire, more like a pancake!

Re:Wire? (1)

Artifice_Eternity (306661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530258)

Seriously. That's a disc, not a wire.

Violin (2)

maakri (1914602) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527764)

Great! Now I can use it to power my open source violin!

Really? (4, Interesting)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527786)

Because battery technology hasn't developed as quickly as the electronic devices they power, a greater and greater percentage of the volume of these devices is taken up by the batteries needed to keep them running.

As they say, [citation needed].

I don't know about the author, but the devices I use seem to have less of their volume taken up by batteries, yet still get better battery life. Compare a 2010 Macbook Air or Macbook Pro to a Powerbook 100. Or in one of my hobbies, electric powered radio-controlled aircraft, in the days of Ni-Cad batteries, they barely used to get off the ground because of the enormous, heavy batteries. In comparison, today's Lithium-Polymer powered craft have much smaller and lighter batteries, yet get more power.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527824)

You are missing the point. It is the percentage of the volume. Do you know what that means? What is the size of the processor compared to the battery? Get the point?

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527906)

I think you're not getting the point. The mass and volume of the plane and it's electric engine was relatively constant while the mass of the battery decreased significantly.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527920)

You are missing the point.

Apparently so.

It is the percentage of the volume. Do you know what that means?

Why yes, yes I do.
Are you sure you do?

What is the size of the processor compared to the battery?

In the listed cases, the processor has stayed the same, identical in fact. Compared to batteries that are getting smaller and providing more power.

Get the point?

Afraid not...

Re:Really? (2)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528254)

I concur. My first mobile phone was powered by six AA nicads, approximately 40% of the volume of the phone. The last half dozen phones have been powered by some kind of electrical after-eight mint occupying maybe 10% of the volume.
I would be happy if the phone doubled in thickness and all that extra space was used by a battery that held six times the charge.

Re:Really? (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528766)

I concur that. They have been becoming smaller and smaller, while I would prefer sturdier (dust & waterproof, what world do these designers live in, office space or something?) and with longer lifetime. Allas, that's not a "sexy design", so you can only buy specialized, basic function phones that incorporate this.

Re:Really? (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34530656)

You have a non smart phone and have battery life issues? That shit should be lasting a loooong time.

Wrong wire dimensions in FTA (2)

feranick (858651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34527838)

"single tin oxide (Sn02) nanowire 10 nanometers long and 100 nanometers in diameter."

This is not a wire (the diameter is one order of magnitude bigger than the length...). Maybe only a type, but the actual length should be in micrometers... Indeed from the original Science paper:

"It took about half an hour to charge a nanowire with initial length of 16 um and diameter of 188 nm."

It would be nice to check if reported claims made in TFA make sense before posting...

Re:Wrong wire dimensions in FTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34527996)

I agree, what they have described is no wire, but a button.

Re:Wrong wire dimensions in FTA (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528350)

More like a nanopizza. Slap on some fullerenes and nanotubes, nano-slide it into a nano-oven on a nano-sheet of graphene and nanocook it for a nanosecond in a nanokelvin nanooven. Then nanoeat it. May nanocause cellular nanodamage and nanocancer.

Re:Wrong wire dimensions in FTA (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528366)

Hmm, I seem to have written nanooven twice. Chalk it up to weird quantum effects. You get those on such a scale.

"Maybe only a type" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34530164)

You were saying? :)

Silly headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34528198)

The world's smallest battery is a sub-atomic particle in a non-equilibrium state.

The claim in the headline is nonsensical. It needs some qualifier like "above x energy level" to make sense.

Re:Silly headline (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34528866)

Sure if you ignore the meaning of "battery".

the problem with science today... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34529304)

This is 100% marketing. What they did is interesting failure analysis of a nanowire, but this is nowhere close to the "smallest" battery. For about 10 years, scientists have been working with single site electrochemistry (that is, measuring and controlling changes in single chemical bonds... hard to get smaller than that). I've published on that myself (in Science, no less). Science magazine is blowing smoke here. The big publishers are destroying scientific integrity by putting "media marketability" above science. Authors are actively encouraged to inflate the importance of results and "tell the best story." Talking with Science and Nature editors in the last few years has made it clear that they're not interested in good research, they're interested in good soundbites. To them, the most frustrating part of being a scientific publisher is that the scientists insist on packing in pages of "data" rather than just submitting 2 pages of clever quotable phrases. They've been writing editorials on this for years, and shifting the "real science" in their publications from the journals to the "supplementary information." This whole system is fucked up.

Re:the problem with science today... (1)

bobzaguy (1314455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34542198)

Are you sure you aren't writing about politics? Sounds like Washington to me.

Typo... (1)

multimediavt (965608) | more than 3 years ago | (#34529314)

Sn02

Should be "SnO2" not with a zero.

The ideal thing (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34531780)

...for powering the worlds smallest electric violin.

Batteries are just fine, the devices need work (2)

evilviper (135110) | more than 3 years ago | (#34532270)

"Because battery technology hasn't developed as quickly as the electronic devices they power, a greater and greater percentage of the volume of these devices is taken up by the batteries needed to keep them running.

I take issue with the premise. It couldn't be more wrong.

A) Part of the development of electronics is reducing power consumption. If they're needing more battery power, its because they AREN'T developing very quickly.

B) The fact that we can make devices that use a lot of power isn't novel at all. The opposite is true. If you need massive batteries to make up for the rampant waste of your device, you apparently designed it quite poorly.

C) My new Droid2 has a much smaller battery than my 10 year old Cassiopia E-100; yet the battery life is about 25% better, this despite a 300% faster CPU, and builtin wifi, gps, cell, etc., so I'm hard pressed to see any way in which this the premise is objectively true.

D) Even back then (10 years ago), there was a huge disparity between the power consumption of comarable devices. Compare the 3 hour battery like of the E-100 with the approx. 1 month runtime of my Psion5mx (symbian-based). There are notable differences, of course, but the later was by far the better PDA all around.

E) And make no mistake, there's next to nothing you can name that smartphones do today that needs a super high-end CPU. Yes, I'm sorry to say you're paying hundreds of dollars on high end hardware solely to compensate for software bloat. MP3s worked just fine on Intel 386s. H.264 is the big one, but an integrated DSP can handle most of that heavy lifting.

Re:Batteries are just fine, the devices need work (2)

aiht (1017790) | more than 3 years ago | (#34532800)

E) And make no mistake, there's next to nothing you can name that smartphones do today that needs a super high-end CPU. Yes, I'm sorry to say you're paying hundreds of dollars on high end hardware solely to compensate for software bloat. MP3s worked just fine on Intel 386s. H.264 is the big one, but an integrated DSP can handle most of that heavy lifting.

My 200MHz, 32MB RAM smartphone feels slower than the 4.77MHz, 640KB IBM XT I used as a teenager.
I know clock-speed isn't the only measure of cpu speed, but seriously?
I used to compile C code on that old thing, and it didn't feel too slow. Even just using the calculator or notes applet on my phone feels slow.

Re:Batteries are just fine, the devices need work (1)

bobzaguy (1314455) | more than 3 years ago | (#34542236)

how many ads are displayed?
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