How Advanced Battery Technologies Have Contributed To The Development Of The Electric Car

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Image via Flickr creative commons from PodKnox

Initially designed and developed back in the 1830s, the electric vehicle has come a long way since then. Witnessing its prime during the early 1900s before seriously declining between the years 1940 and 1960, the electric car has now established itself as a possible future leader in car technology. The green energy aspect of electric cars could well cement their place in the future of vehicle development, as people are becoming more environmentally aware and wish to adopt greener lifestyles. Whilst the future of the electric car is yet to be determined, it is possible to see how far technology has advanced over the years. Here is how advanced battery technologies have contributed to the development of the electric car.

Battery technology in current electric cars

The way electric cars work, is by using an on-board battery to store electrical energy which is then recharged when connected to an electrical supply. Until the late 1990s, the lead-acid battery was the most commonly used battery for electric vehicles. Since then however, the lithium-ion and lithium-polymer have been favoured as they are able to provide significantly improved performance and the longer vehicle range preferred by both manufacturers and drivers.

Back to the beginning

The first electric car, invented by Thomas Davenport, was powered by a DC electric motor. However, a few years later in 1842, both Davenport and Scottish inventor Robert Davidson, decided that there was a need for the electric car to be more practical. That’s why they chose to incorporate the use of non-rechargeable electric batteries. This idea was topped in 1865 by Camille Faure who pronounced the need for better capacity storage batteries if the electric car was to be a practical vehicle.

Improved battery inventions

Gaston Planté was considered to be one of the great pioneer developers of batteries, due to his invention of the lead-acid battery in 1859. Later, Thomas Edison created the nickel-iron battery in 1901, causing much anticipation for the long-awaited new developments of the electric car. Before long however, the popularity of the electric car was replaced by gasoline-powered autos and the electric car suffered a decline.

Things changed in 1989

The invention of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries in 1989 seemed to turn things around for electric cars. It was this type of battery that was used to help save fuel during acceleration in Toyota’s hybrid-electric vehicle, the Prius. The only problem with a nickel-metal hydride battery is that it was unable to power the Prius over a long range, which meant that battery technologists had to come up with a better solution if people were to take electric cars seriously; hence the forthcoming of the rechargeable lithium battery in 1991. Whilst the early stages of this battery development led to it short circuiting, Sony created a battery that used a combination of graphite, allowing the lithium to be used without the risk of short circuiting. It worked by moving lithium ions between the two electrodes during charge and discharge, thus giving it the name “lithium-ion”.

Breakthrough imminent for electric cars

Bob Purcell has dedicated 20 years to the development of electric vehicles, and promises to not retire until he sees a high volume in them. Now chief executive of a technology start-up he founded called Protean Electric, Purcell and his team have developed a wheel hub motor that could finally mean that the electric car is practical for drivers everywhere. Basing his research on the fact that fossil fuels are in short supply nowadays and the use of all of which will seriously impact the environment, he predicts that the electric car will soon become the viable option for car purchasers around the globe. Thanks to Purcell’s team, getting your hands on subprime car finance will not mean a large cost for the consumer. The production of the new electric car is due to start in 2014, so consumers will not have to wait long to see the effects.

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Protecting your Android device from malware

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Image via Flickr creative commons from greyweed

If you’re a seasoned computer nerd, then you’ll no doubt have encountered viruses and malware in the past. Malware can destabilise or even disable your computer, tablet or smartphone device – so you need to be on your guard against it. What’s more, malware can also be used to allow hackers to gain access to your device, thereby helping themselves to your sensitive personal information. Ensuring that all your computers, laptops and mobile devices are as secure as possible should be a basic obligation for every user, but it can seem a little bit confusing at first for those of us who aren’t experts on the subject. Once you’ve bought a new Android device – along with all the other accessories you’ll need, such as theSnugg nexus 7 cases– the first thing you need to do is work out how you’re going to keep it safe from malware.

An article from Gizmodo offers a number of useful hints and tips when it comes to protecting your Android device from malware. It notes, first of all, that Android is somewhat more susceptible to malware than iOS, although some basic common sense should enable you to protect your device from malware. Setting a lock screen is worthwhile to begin with. It is worth noting that this won’t render your device completely secure – it isn’t impenetrable – but it will offer you some protection against casual attacks. You should have a number of lock screen options – including password, PIN, pattern and face unlock – and while setting a password may involve the most fiddling around, it’s also the most secure.

Secondly, you should also take a look to find out more about the range of anti-malware programs out there for you to choose from. You should find quite a few anti-virus programs for Android, and installing one of these can provide you with additional protection from malware. Many of these anti-malware programs are available completely free of charge, so it’s worth taking a look online to find out more about what they’ve got to offer. Check a few reviews first to find out more about which one is likely to offer you the most protection.

Cacheing passwords may save you a few seconds when you’re browsing email and other accounts via your Android device – it’s particularly handy for those of us who seem to have a million and one different passwords and struggle to remember any of them – but it’s also ideal for anyone who happens to steal your phone, as they can access your personal data with minimum hassle. Check your browser’s settings to ensure that it doesn’t automatically save passwords without you realising.

An article from eWeek also offers some pointers when it comes to maximising Android security. It suggests that you may be better off sticking to websites you know you can trust and steering clear of those whose security credentials you can’t be sure about. Furthermore, it also points out that you should keep up with the latest Android security news, so you know which malware to look out for and how you can protect yourself from it.

How To Determine The Optimum Location For Your Wireless Router

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Image via Flickr creative commons from Woodley wonder works

Once you have waded through the strange world of gigahertz, 802.11n and 802.11g and finally got your new wireless router home from – you can waste the world’s greatest router by putting it in the wrong place. Regardless of how powerful, there are a lot of things that can hamper its effectivity. Generally these things will be near impossible to consider when perusing wireless routers at BT Shop.

If your PC or laptop falls out of range, then obviously the connection will fail but factors such as obstructions and interference can play a part.

First off, you need to make sure you don’t settle on a router location prematurely. Experiment with a few different places – trial and error may not be particularly scientific, but without shelling out on some super high tech equipment it is the simplest way.

Most often, the best place is a central location – but if the router is only going to be used by one computer, locating it near the place it is going to be used most is bet. If you intend to play music or stream video via your television, then it is recommended you place your router accordingly.

The people at Microsoft say: “If your wireless router, modem router, or access point is against an outside wall of your home, the signal will be weak on the other side of your home.”

Similarly, if the router has to be on the ground floor and your PC or laptop is on the second floor, place the router high on a shelf in the room it is located.

Physical barriers as unavoidable as plastered internal walls can be a hassle to signals. If you are in the situation where locations are limited, try a wireless repeater. Place it halfway between your wireless router, modem router, or access point and your computer, and you can get an instant boost to your signal strength.

But you needn’t worry if you can’t move your wireless router, because there are many other ways to improve your connection. First off, remove the router from the floor and away from metal objects – these can interfere with your router’s signal.

Other electrical items around the house can also prove a headache. The most common wireless technology operates at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. Many cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, garage door openers, and other wireless electronics also use this frequency. To avoid this try to keep your device out of the way of these household items. If you can’t do this, consider changing your wireless channel until you find one that suits.

In certain circumstances, replacing the antenna can also have its benefits. It is most often the case that the aerial the device comes with is designed to be omnidirectional – sending out a signal in all directions. If this is the case, placing the router near an external wall will waste a lot of its potential. Most routers will not allow you to increase power output, but you can focus that power by sending it all in the direction you need.

For wireless networks with multiple clients, you will need to find a compromise position. Devices too far away from the base station will only be able to manage ten to 50 per cent of the bandwidth of clients nearby. You might need to sacrifice the network performance of one client for the good of the others.

Your Guide to Different Server Types

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Image via Flickr creative commons from mikeshelby

Generally used by big businesses, servers can often look very similar to basic PCs. Their job, though, is one specialised function to support all the other PCs on its network.

On a local scale, servers are most often referred to by what specific function they are expected to carry out. For example, a network’s print server will be connected to different printers around an office. When a document is sent to a printer, it is this designated computer that carries out the action. Similarly, an FTP (file transfer protocol) server is responsible for moving large files to one computer or business to another.

Elsewhere, every website you visit will be based on a server somewhere – a server that is permanently connected to the internet. Each is given a serial number made up of four digits between 0 and 255, separated by bullet points. An IP address can look something like 92.101.34.221.

It may sound obvious, but the type of server depends on the type of job. As a quick guide, here are some of the most basic ones, which may help you out when you’re wondering whether you want a real time communication server or a NAS server – BT Business Direct is a good place to source these.

Proxy Server

Like a computing middleman, a proxy server sits between clients. In a sense they are a gateway between a PC and the internet, containing all the necessary firewalls and virus protection. There are many different types, some can be used to keep machines anonymous, some can prevent the downloading of content multiple times and others can be used to improve the performance of network computers.

Network attached storage server

As you may have guessed by the name, a NAS server acts as storage space for its network and is at its most basic a storage device. They have been growing in popularity for around three years and can be used for more than holding files and data. They can function as fault-tolerant email servers – backup in case a component elsewhere fails.

As businesses grow, they step up to micro tower server and tower servers – essentially a bigger version of NAS servers. Beyond that, companies will advance to rack and blade servers. These are used when it is essential to run two or more servers at the same time on a well-populated network.

FTP servers

These are one of the oldest servers and are used to transfer files and data from one host to another – such as the internet. Most often for smaller emails an email will be capable of transferring. But for bigger files, then two companies or computers will both connect to an FTP server. As they are often based elsewhere and provided as an internet service, they can provide protection from viruses and potentially harmful files.

Collaboration servers

Sometimes known as groupware servers, they enable users to collaborate regardless of where they are in the world. They are described by some as the devices that demonstrate the true power of the World Wide Web in that they allow, simply, worldwide collaboration.