Feeds

Clockwork computer power planned for next year

South African outfit to license $50 wind-up device

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

The Freeplay Power Group of South Africa is the latest in a series of outfits working on clockwork computers. And tantalisingly, its current prototype is running on an Apple eMate. Recent rumour has had it that Apple, in its quest for a killer design for its return to the low-cost educational market eMate was aimed at, has been considering wind-up technology. On the plus side, this could produce acceptable endurance. On the minus, if a clockwork computer turned out to look ludicrous rather than like a killer product, Apple could come in for another strafing of the sort it collected from Doonesbury, when the Newton wasn't quite right first time. Freeplay is currently working with General Electric on a clockwork generator (with a solar panel in addition), although no deal seems to have been inked. The target price of the wind-up power source is $50. Freeplay plans to license the manufacturing of its gizmo, and joint chairman Rory Stear expects to have it ready for market next year. So far ancient Apple hardware is the favoured by inventors - Brit Trevor Bayliss OBE has been there, done that. He's best known for his windup radio, but he also developed and demonstrated in 1997 an Apple eMate 300 that could have its battery life of 24-28 hours extended by four to five hours by winding up a charger. He did a demo at the Commonwealth conference in Botswana, where 30 seconds of hand cranking gave about 15 minutes of computer use. Bayliss worked with the BaygenPower Group to develop the wind-up. There is still the slight problem of connecting to the Internet from remote locations without electricity, but one day, she'll be right and satellite phones may even be on a chip (Er, Graham - wouldn't the satellites need to be beaming death rays for this to work? - Ed). ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.