Universal Battery Charger Fits Any Gadget
A USB charger for lithium-ion batteries has been developed with Uganda in mind so that locals can become one-stop electricity providers, but you can use it on your devices, too.
What's the Latest Development?
A new lithium ion battery charger, developed by Fenix International and currently being demonstrated at the Aspen Ideas Festival, is designed with two small metal contact points that can clip onto almost any lithium-ion battery. "The charger can plug into any computer or USB wall adapter, but Fenix designed it specifically to be plugged into the ReadySet, an all-in-one 'intelligent battery' that can take in power from a variety of sources (bicycle generator, solar, the grid), store and smooth it, then spit it back out to charge phones or other appliances."
What's the Big Idea?
Because the new battery charger is cordless, an entrepreneur could, in any place where mobile devices are abundant but power is scarce, be sure that he or she can charge most phones without carrying around a ton of little adapters. What fascinates Alexis Madrigal about the charger is that, while it was designed for electricity-poor countries, it may prove handy for Western customers as well: "As more and more entrepreneurs start to focus their efforts outside the O.E.C.D. countries, I think we're due for a lot more of this kind of cross-pollination."
Could this be the long-awaited solution to economic inequality?
Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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