Friday, April 1, 2011

Apple's External Battery Pack

An Apple patent application published yesterday describes a rechargeable external battery pack combined with a power adapter. The idea of the patent is to eliminate the need for a traveler to pack both.  But wait, there's more. The device would also have adapters that made it possible to charge your iphone or other portable electronic devices too.  

Why am I writing about this?  Because in the realm of portable electronics, one of the fastest paths to market for EESU technology would be the exact type of device Apple is seeking protection for with this application.    EEStor could create an external battery that wouldn't need to be customized for use by Apple, HP, Dell, etc etc.   

Note: Apple Insider broke this story

Note #2: No April Fool's Joke in this article.  Or is there?

Wired Reporters Trash Unsung DoD Science Hero

Source: Google Images
Wired's Noah Shachtman & Spencer Ackerman have been publishing a series of investigative articles attacking the ethics of DARPA head Regina Dugan.  The controversy centers around the fact that prior to her appointment to head the US DoD's premier research organization, she helped launch a startup company, RedXDefense, devoted in part to creating better detection of explosive devices.  The problem highlighted by Shachtman & Ackerman & Manymen is that when she was appointed head of DoD by Secretary Robert Gates, she disclosed being the company's co-founder & owning 15,000 shares.  Although she followed accepted procedures and recused herself from any dealings concerning RedXDefense, it was later awarded a contract by DARPA. Then another.  Oh, her father, uncle & sister work for the company & it owes Dugan $250, repayment for a loan or something.

Great material for a govt scandal article right?  Wrong.

Regina Dugan was appointed head of DARPA precisely because of her competence as a researcher & entrepreneur--> the exact profile of persons DARPA courts to conduct its research.  Dugan has a 1984 BS, 1985 MS & 1993 PHD in mechanical engineering. She wrote her dissertation about un-detonated bombs.   She entered the workforce as a researcher at a premier non-profit DoD think-tank called Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) in 1993.  She must have impressed many because 3 short years later, DARPA hired her to manage a $100Mil research portfolio that included projects to detect land mines & help Marines storm mine infested beaches.  Between 2001-2003, the Army asked her to study what was happening in Afghanistan with IED's.