Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Everyday Tech

How do batteries work? How much energy is your plugged-in gadget using? How do UPC codes work? Find this out and more with Everyday Tech.

Featured
Computer Technology in Pictures

With so many types of computer technology out there, how do you keep up? With these cool image galleries that explain basic parts and technologies of everything computer-related.


How Location Tracking Works

Location tracking is one of those double-edged swords of technology. It can help find people in an emergency, but it can also make your whereabouts known to strangers. Where are these systems starting to appear?

How do the battery testers on battery packages work?

The little disposable battery testers you see on batteries or battery packages are a great example of combined technologies -- several existing technologies have been combined in a completely new way!

Why do batteries seem to go dead and then come back to life if you let them rest?

The "self-recharging" feature of a battery is most noticeable in a car battery. In some cases, you can crank the engine until the battery seems totally dead, then come back an hour later and crank it again.

What is the difference between two- and three-pronged plugs?

Ever wonder why some appliance plugs have three prongs and others have only two? What does that third prong do? And what would happen if you plugged a three-pronger into a two-prong outlet with an adapter?

What does the CE logo I see on lots of products mean?

Have you ever noticed the "CE" stamped on many consumer products and electronics? Find out what this logo says about the product you're buying.

What do the UL marks on so many products mean?

A large number of electronic devices carry "UL" marks. You can find them on everything from Christmas lights to digital camcorders. What does this logo mean?

How Batteries Work

Batteries power all sorts of things -- they're in our cars, our PCs, our cameras, our cell phones. How do these tiny cans of chemicals provide power for so many of our daily conveniences?

Top Selling Electronics

We all like our gadgets, especially those that make live easier or just plain fun. Take a look at some of the most sold electronics out there to see if your favorite made the list.