TECH WATCH: Find Your Inner Geek

By Kenneth X. Sills

Whether you embrace technology or fear it, if you are reading this, it must grab your attention.

Do you want to know what the latest in hardware is so you can have it?

Are you waiting for Vistas replacement already?

Maybe you just want to know when AI will graduate ahead of you to get the job you’re hoping for. Meanwhile, are you secretly keeping an eye out for John Conner?

Have you ever wondered if you’re you a geek?

Or do you think that it’s just the other guy?

Now there is way to find out.

There is a site that seeks to put you in touch with your inner geek. Check out this website and take their free online tests to discover your inner geek at Geek Test, where you can “Find your inner geek”.

Technology today may be one of the most important things impacting your life whether you love it, hate it, understand it or just think it is magic. For the last two centuries it was technology that held the threats described by the 19th century clergyman Thomas Malthus at bay. The problems we face today, as well as the solutions we need, will come from how humanity manages its technologies, but for now let’s just talk fun and environmentally correct.

Have you ever considered getting a Solar Powered Cell Phone?

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, LG presented the world with a solar powered cell phone. Photovoltaic cells on the back of the device provide enough power to charge the phone’s battery, so there is no need for a wall charger. LG claims that ten minutes of direct sunlight exposure provides enough charge for a three minute chat, however that is still a three hour and 20 minute charge time for a one hour chat. That sounds like a lot of time on the desk in the sun between calls, however you will still be able to charge the phone with a standard charger.

The new solar panel backs could potentially be slipped onto any LG device to harness the sun’s natural light. LG expects this cell phone to become available later this year. The idea is good in principle and good for us, but I suspect it will have to charge faster than that to capture market share. What I want to see is someone develop a base charger to go with it, and cell phone that allows light energy stored during the day to be used on demand later to charge the phone.

LG Solar Phone LG Solar Phone Oh wait a minute, this may be happening sooner than you think. It was published in Live Science last week that all cell phone manufacturers are agreeing to produce a universal charger (finally!) and that sets the stage for a solar base station to also be commercially viable, but in competition to the LG Solar Phone I mentioned above.

Samsung has also announced its Blue Earth Series.

090221-samsung-solar-phone-02 090221-samsung-solar-phone-02 These will be made out of recycled plastic bottles and have a solar charger on the back but suffer from the same limitations I described above with the LG. Nevertheless, it is a good looking phone and a step in the right direction. It even has a few quirky, cutesy features like a pedometer that not only calculates how far you walk, but how much you have lowered your carbon footprint in the process by using calories to replace carbon based fuels.

J.K. Shin, executive vice president and the head of mobile communication division of Samsung Electronics said: “Samsung’s ‘The Blue Earth Dream’ demonstrates our small but meaningful commitments for the future and our environment… We are committed to achieving the highest eco-status with our customers and business partners by providing the best eco-products and promoting eco-activities.”

It looks like solar powered devices will become more and more a part of our lives in the coming years, so I suggest finding a good sunny window where you can keep all your toys.

To end with a good look forward here is something pretty eye catching. In the next 10 years, scientists claim they will be able to produce a fully electronic contact lens that not only will correct your vision, but might replace your computer screen and your enormous LCD HDTV.

It could even give you night enhanced vision while driving and a visible to you only heads-up-display that provides details like a moving map while you are traveling. So are you still worried about the Terminator if you have the same capabilities?