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.

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What's the purpose of a gas discharge arrestor?

Some surge protectors use gas to protect your appliances. Learn about the purpose of a gas discharge arrestor from this article.

How Gorilla Glass Works

Touch screens are useful, assuming you don't drop and break them, or scratch them up in your pocket or purse. How do you make abuse-resistant glass? Ask Corning.

What is the future of communication?

The days of the cell phone are numbered. Superior technology has already surpassed it and is now moving on to the next level. Which cutting-edge technologies are here to stay and which are flashes in a pan?

Will modern digital communications permanently affect human behavior?

These days, information is coming at us from all directions -- it can be hard to stay focused on the task at hand. Some say modern communications methods will permanently change the way we think.

Top 5 Technology Trends of 2009

Every year there's a brand new wave of hardware and software that hits the market. Some products go boom, others go bust. As 2009 drew to a close, what technological trends turned out to be the year's biggest hits?

Should you consolidate all your technology into one device?

As electronics become smaller and more functional, you can do more things with fewer devices. But is putting all that technology in one device a good idea?

Battery Pictures

Batteries power innumerable objects in our world and are becoming more "green" every day. Take a look at the history, technologies and environmental concerns surrounding these everyday powerhouses.

How Energy-efficient Electronics Work

Your appliances use electricity all day, whether you're there or not. Some manufacturers are helping consumers out by making their electronics more efficient.

How Haptic Technology Works

Ever wonder how flat cell phone keys vibrate to let you know you've pressed a button? It's called haptics, and you can use it for lots more than just phones.

How E-waste Works

Has your storage closet turned into a gadget graveyard, where your old electronics go to die? Most people are forgoing the cell-phone cemetery and discarding their devices as e-waste.

How Vampire Power Works

Forget the wooden stake -- the only thing that stops this vampire is unplugging your electronics. Vampire power sucks energy at a rate that would make anyone scream in horror.

How wired are we?

We are so wired, or connected to the Internet, that people are diagnosed with pathological computer use. Read how wired people live their lives.

How much power does a small transformer consume when plugged in but not doing anything?

A typical home probably has five to 10 transformers plugged into the wall at any given time. It turns out that these transformers consume power whenever they are plugged in, whether they are connected to a device or not.

How Refurbished Electronics Work

You need a new computer, but you don't have enough cash to buy the latest model. You're perusing the classifieds looking for a used one, when you come across an ad for a refurbished laptop. What does that mean?

Could blood be used to power batteries?

How about, instead of your standard AA, we used flexible, incredibly thin batteries that could be powered by blood or sweat? Seems like an improvement, right?

How Wireless Power Works

Unless you're particularly organized and good with those little twist ties, you probably have a few dusty power cord tangles around your home. But wireless power transmission could soon cut the clutter and lead to clean sources of electricity.

Where can I recycle my old electronics?

If you're lucky enough to unwrap a sweet new iPhone or Kindle Fire this year, what are you going to do with that relic you've been using up to now?

How Lithium-ion Batteries Work

Lithium-ion batteries are incredibly popular these days. You can find them in laptops, PDAs, cell phones and iPods. Find out why.

How Restaurant Pagers Work

You've probably used a restaurant pager, but have you taken one apart? We have -- see how it works.

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?


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