Soon You Could Charge Your Cellphone By Shaking It
Researchers at Virginia Tech are designing an emergency on-board charger for cell phones. Researchers say the phone would draw energy from a common piezoelectric material – like zinc oxide – that can convert vibrations into energy. They say the vibrations could come from finger taps on the phone’s keyboard, or from shaking the phone, and while it wouldn’t replace charging the phone normally, it would be sufficient for emergency situations. (Daily Mail)
Bomb Sniffing Mice?
An Israeli security company called Tamar Group has trained rodents to alert guards when they smell explosives, drugs, or other contraband. The group says they use a system called Bio-Explorer which attaches specially trained mice to sensors which detect changes in their heart rate, breathing, and other life signs. The mice react in a way that is detected by Bio-Explorer to alert the guards of any issues. The group says they’ve been developing the system for six-years. (Daily Mail)
Colorado Woman Sentenced for Faking PTSD to Avoid Jury Duty
A 58-year-old Denver woman pleaded guilty to second-degree perjury and attempting to influence a public servant Tuesday (November 13th) for faking post-traumatic stress disorder to get out of jury duty and was given a two-year deferred judgment, two years probation, and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service. Cole had arrived for jury duty in June 2011 looking purposely disheveled, with curlers in hair, heavy makeup and mismatched shoes, and told the judge that she had PTSD as a result of domestic violence in the military. Cole was excused from jury duty, but she was caught four months later when the same judge heard a woman — Cole — on a local radio show bragging about how she faked mental illness to avoid jury duty.
Couple Sues Cablevision, Say Credits Should Be Automatic for Sandy Outages
A Long Island, New York, couple is suing Cablevision, saying the cable company should be offering automatic credits to customers in areas that lost service due to Superstorm Sandy, rather than waiting for customers to contact them. The couple are trying to get class-action status for the lawsuit, seeking damages from Cablevision and an order that it stop billing for services it didn’t provide due to Sandy. Cablevision said the lawsuit, quote, “misstates the facts and is without merit. Blanket or arbitrary credits for cable outages could shortchange customers because each case is different.” Time Warner Cable has said it will give automatic credits in areas hit hard by the storm.