Refocusing the cellphone – we want a not so smart phone with *long battery life*.

Smart phone, dumb battery.

That is the current pain point many of us will be familiar with. We all have very powerful and capable phones, but have short battery lives which frequently mean we have to use these many capabilities sparring in order not to end up with a dead phone when you most need it.

The introduction of fast charging helps in part.

But why can’t designers design phones that lasts longer? This is pretty much the appeal of so-called dumb phones which typically lasts days or weeks.

So I would like to propose a few ideas to address this. So here goes.

  1. Bigger battery. D’uh. We don’t need ever slimmer phones. It is ok for phones to be a little thick to allow for longer battery life.
  2. Monochrome screens – no fancy stuff, just light colour text on black backgrounds a’la the Punkt MP01 phone. This should reduce a lot of the energy requirement by the screen. We can keep the touch screen ability too. 
  3. Lock down services. We still like the google services like contacts, calendars etc, so we would like to keep this – but lock down other apps, notifications and stuff from the google play store. Perhaps it is worth dumbing-down the phone a bit, and leave only the essential google apps to allow you to get through the week without charging. All apps will need to conform to the monochrome requirement.
  4. A flip phone with both an OLED and EPD (electronic paper display) screens. The YotaPhone does this quite well, but shame it didn’t catch on.
  5. If you must have a browser – strip it down to only test / readability / instapaper mode. i.e. disable the rich graphics and animations – just deliver a browser that presents you with just the text that you want to read. Better if it is also presented on the EPD screen.
  6. Have a nice robust design, but don’t make it too expensive. The Punkt MP01 phone is a very nice phone, but I think the price point is more than what many will be willing to pay for. 

How Simplicity Can Help Creativity, Briefly

simplicity

source site – How Simplicity Can Help Creativity, Briefly

The judicious application of simplicity can help someone to create, whether that’s writing, creating art, designing, teaching, starting a small business, or in some other way making ideas take shape into reality.

People who want to create are hampered by complications — tools that are too complicated, projects that are too overwhelming, the distractions of the modern world, too many cooks, too many options, too busy.

Simplify, and many of these problems go away.

Clearing clutter is a great way to create space for new ideas, thoughts and creativity.

The hectic information age is generally bad news for creativity. We cannot run away from 24/7 service, technologies and communication. However, we can strive to do less in every area that we work on. Find non-value adding stuff. Ruthlessly chop them off.

Use technology to simplify.

Challenge everything we do. Why do we do things we’ve being doing all this while?

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept – green & mean

BMW has followed up the M1 homage concept with a daring green and mean concept car. In one go, this concept – the Vision EfficientDynamics – concept vaults BMW straight into both the supercar and green vehicle categories in a single leap.

i do hope that this car makes it into production as the images are hot.

source of images and news from BMW Blog –
http://www.bmwblog.com/2009/08/29/meet-the-bmw-vision-efficientdynamics-concept/

http://www.bmwblog.com/2009/08/29/bmw-vision-efficientdynamics-photo-gallery/

For decades, BMW has made the reduction of emissions and fuel consumption a key part of its product development strategy, just as enhancements to the dynamic ability of each BMW have been a lasting, sustained brand value. BMW’s EfficientDynamics engineering philosophy – the pursuit of an enhanced, athletic driving experience while simultaneously lowering the consumption and emissions of each vehicle – resulted in the most dramatic drop in fleet consumption of any automaker from 1990 through 2005, according to an Environmental Defense study.

Now, the BMW Vision concept car clearly demonstrates that the EfficientDynamics objectives are fully compatible when applied to a sports car. Conceived as a 2+2-seater with plug-in full-hybrid technology, this unique car combines the performance of a BMW M vehicle with a standard of fuel efficiency and emission management that exceeds even the current levels achieved by the latest small cars. This outstanding result is made possible by the combination of BMW ActiveHybrid components with an extremely economical combustion engine, and outstanding aerodynamic qualities.

some facts:

* 2+2 seater
* Bird’s wings door
* Dimensions (length x width x height): 4.60 x 1.90 x 1.24 meters
* Combined power: 356 hp, 800 Nm(590 lb-ft) of torque
* 1.5 liter 3-cylinder turbodiesel engine placed at the rear of the car
* Diesel engine: 163 hp, 290 Nm(214 lb-ft) of torque
* Two electric engines, one near the front axle, one near the rear axle
* Electric-rear engine with constant 33 HP and a peak of 51 HP. Maximum torque 214 lb-ft
* Electric engine front axle with constant 80 HP. Extra power of 112 HP available for 30 seconds and for 10 seconds, 139 HP. Torque:162 lb-ft
* 4.8 seconds 0-100 km/h, limited 250 km/h (155 mph)
* DCT gearbox
* average 3,76 liter per 100 kilometer – 62.6MPG. CO2 99 gram per km
* Maximum Range: 690 kilometers – 428 miles
* Weight: 1.395 kg – 3,075 lbs
* Weight of the lithium-ion batteries: 85 kg – 187 lbs
* Charging time: Depending on the amperage between 44 minutes and 2.5 hours
* 3D HUD
* No Active Cooling Required

Bill Gates’ new mission: Saving lives

source site – TG Daily – Bill Gates’ new mission: Saving lives

When you already have transformed the way the world works, what do you do with the second half of your life? Ask Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, the insanely rich guy we so often loved to hate, but who is being credited with bringing computing to the mainstream. Today, Gates released the first annual letter describing his new role at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. What we read is a passionate introduction to the challenges and goals of his charity. And I remember the old saying: There are those who say they are saving lives, and those who actually do.

this is pretty inspirational. yes, i do not like bill gates the microsoft man. but bill gates the man, is a different matter altogether. even at microsoft he was singularly focused on changing the way we work. i believe that this singular focus will allow him to achieve good things with his foundation. his work at the foundation is described on his 2009 annual letter.

this is one of the best ways to see wealth being shared across the world.