In Soviet Russia, nuclear reactor goes on truck


If you needed further evidence that the Soviets were more than a little barmy, then here it is. They built a nuclear reactor onto a truck. Thats it, up there. They were used in the more distant corners of the country, presumably because in the more distant corners, fewer people would be irradiated when they used the things.

After the Chernobyl accident, the use of these things was discontinued, but crikey. Imagine seeing one of those things rolling up the main road of your town, village or hamlet. I’d run for my sodding life, wouldn’t you?

DIY solar batteries *nearly* work


There’s something so wonderfully simple about this concept that I wish it would work better than it does. Ni-MH batteries that have a flexible photovoltaic cell wrapped around them, so that they recharge by just being left on a windowsill.

Unfortunately, the solar cells currently only charge the battery with a tiny, weak trickle, but if they were built into a proper unit, combined with capacitors and the electronics to up the efficiency of the energy conversion, then they could do considerably better.

On a related note, how many devices do you have that still use traditional batteries? Very few, I’d wager – perhaps just a TV remote and a set of portable speakers. Everything’s rechargable these days, and a jolly good thing too.

Panasonic rescuing the reputation of plasma TVs – thinner, more efficient models on the way


Poor old plasma TVs, which have long been tagged as the energy-sucking, gas-guzzlers of the lounge, might be about to have their reputations saved – thanks to Panasonic’s new range.

Panasonic reckons it’s managed to get the energy consumption of a standard plasma TV down by HALF – a move which it’s hoping will boost sales of its TVs by 50% over the coming year, as modern energy-aware shoppers start paying a bit more attention to the numbers on the back of boxes when they buy stuff…

The iDAPT modular charging unit saves you a wiry mess


I’m filing this one under ‘gadgets I actually want’. I see a lot of gadgets every day and, if I’m honest, I’m not actually that bothered about owning most personally. The iDAPT, on the other hand, is definitely on that list. It’s a little box that sits on your desk and lets you plug stuff in standing up, and it’ll charge them. No more wires, chargers, or lost gadgets to contend with.

Sure, it’s not perfect – there’s no Zune adapter, and pink isn’t exactly my colour (it’s available in other colours too, thank god) but it’ll charge almost everything you can think of – BlackBerry, Nokia, iPod, PSP and TomTom, among others. The full list is on the manufacturer’s website. It’s available now, and set you back just £35. Bargainous.

Amazon (via ShinyShiny)

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